Ranji Trophy: Mumbai vs Punjab, Day 1
Mumbai, Dec 8: Punjab were 288 for four at stumps on Day 1 of their sixth round clash against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium. While Uday Kaul was dismissed in the last over of the day with two balls remaining, Mandeep Singh was batting on 102 at the end of day’s play.
Earlier, upon being asked to bat Jiwanjot Singh and Karan Goel, opening for Punjab got the visitors off to a good start. However, Mumbai captain, Ajit Agarkar, struck to put the brakes and end the opening stand for 57. Goel (25) edged the pacer to the slips where Ajinkya Rahane took the catch. Ravi Inder Singh then came out to join Jiwanjot Singh in the middle and take the innings forward. Looking for breakthroughs, Mumbai, playing with three seamers and two spinners, introduced Abhishek Nayar into the attack in the 22nd over. The medium pacer who had put Mumbai in an advantageous position against Bengal in the previous match responded by creating an opportunity for a breakthrough soon after being handed the ball. But the in-form Punjab batsman, Jiwanjot, survived after nicking Nayar to the ‘keeper while on 39. The Punjab opener later got yet another life on 41 a bit before lunch. Dropped at first slip by Rohit Sharma off Ankeet Chavan’s first ball of the match, he went into lunch unbeaten with Ravi Inder Singh on 29.
However, Jiwanjot departed soon after lunch; caught by Hiken Shah at second slip off Dhawal Kulkarni the batsman returned to the dressing room for 42. At 109 for two Mandeep Singh joined Ravi Inder Singh in the middle and the duo continued to score at a steady pace. The No.3 bat drove Ajit Agarkar straight down the ground to bring up his half-century off 103 balls. Mandeep too brought up his first half-century of the season before the end of the second session. The batsman swept Ankeet Chavan to collect four runs and took the team past the 200-run mark and reached his half-century off 82 balls with a six and eight boundaries. Without losing anymore wickets in the session, the two took Punjab to 206 for two at tea, with the partnership just three runs short of the three-figure mark.
Resuming after tea, Mumbai created a couple of half-chances but, it was almost halfway through the session that they got a wicket. Ravi Inder Singh nicked an Agarkar delivery to the wicketkeeper to walk back for 76. With the Ravi Inder-Mandeep partnership broken for 128, Uday Kaul came out to bat alongside Mandeep Singh, who after surviving a few chances continued to build on the innings. The batsman reached his 100 with a boundary off Kulkarni. The pacer claimed Kaul for 19 in the last over.
The Mumbai bowlers toiled but managed to get only four breakthroughs as the Punjab batsmen built partnerships and made most of the lives given to them.
At the end of Day 1: Punjab 1st innings 288/4 in 89.4 overs (Mandeep Singh 102*, Ravi Inder Singh 76, A Agarkar 2/54, D Kulkarni 2/61)