Shardul Thakur’s four-wicket haul, complemented by the rest of the bowling attack, tipped the balance in Mumbai’s favour at the end of the second day of the ongoing quarter-final clash. Maharashtra were trailing by 183 runs in the first innings with three wickets in hand at stumps, with Shrikant Mundhe (14) and Akshay Darekar (16) at the crease.
Bowled out for 402, Mumbai claimed three early wickets to push the visitors on the back foot. Shardul Thakur, opening the bowling with Zaheer Khan, dismissed Rohit Motwani for zero in the second over. And 17 runs later, he sent back the tournament’s highest run-getter, Harshad Khadiwale, for four. Vijay Zol, who had worked his way to 15, was soon dismissed by the ace pacer – an incoming delivery struck the top of off-stump and dislodged the bail to send back Maharashtra’s No.3.
With the team struggling on 24 for three, Ankit Bawne launched into the Mumbai attack. A tough chance in the slips saw the batsman survive while on five. However, with an array of back-foot strokes he smacked Javed Khan for four boundaries in an over to collect 16 runs off it. And soon after drinks, he was granted another life when he was caught at third-slip by Indulkar off Thakur, albeit off a no-ball, while on 35.
Although the Mumbai bowlers created a few chances, the middle-order batsman went past his half-century, while Kedar Jadhav played a supporting role. They carried the innings forward and without losing any further wickets, they took the team to 122 at tea.
However, in the third over of the last session, Jadhav was out immediately after reaching his 50, thereby ending the partnership for 115. Vishal Dabholkar, who was introduced into the attack late in the second session, got the better of Jadhav to send him back for 51.
With Sangram Atitakar for company, Bawne then took his team past 150. Bawne’s innings eventually ended for 84. Thakur, who had kept the Maharashtra batsmen on a tight leash, accounted for Bawne’s wicket.
Atitakar, who had survived a chance while on five off Thakur, was caught by Indulkar in the slips after edging the pacer. At 170 for six, Shrikant Mundhe joined Chirag Khurana in the middle.
A relentless Thakur kept hitting the deck hard as Mumbai looked to wrap up the visitors’ innings. Mundhe and Khurana rallied on, but Javed Khan struck to remove the latter. Kaustubh Pawar pulled off a diving catch at gully to give Javed his first wicket of the day.
With Mumbai in a dominating position, Akshay Darekar made his way to middle late in the last session of the day to lend support to Mundhe. The duo negotiated the Mumbai pacers to take their team to 219 for seven at the end day’s play.
Earlier, led by Iqbal Abdullah, the Mumbai lower-order added 96 runs to their overnight total, before being bowled just prior to lunch. Anchoring the innings, Abdullah was stranded on 49 as Dabholkar was trapped leg-before without adding to the total.
After getting breakthroughs towards the end of the first day, the Maharashtra bowlers could not build on the pressure in the morning and allowed the hosts to garner runs.
Zaheer, who had kicked off the session with Abullah, gathered a valuable 39 runs before edging Mundhe to Khurana. He had earlier pilfered 14 runs off Khurana, hitting the bowler for two boundaries and a six; he was also dropped by Jadhav. Javed, who replaced him, added 14 before hitting the ball back to Akshay Darekar. With Mumbai on 397, Dabholkar joined Abdullah in the middle and in the last over before lunch he was removed by Fallah to bring Mumbai’s first innings to an end.