Chasing 252, Maharashtra were 28 for one at stumps on Day 3 of their quarter-final match against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium. Harshad Khadiwale was batting on six when Chirag Khurana’s wicket signaled the end of day’s play.
After Maharashtra were bowled out for 280 in the morning, their pace trio, led by Anupam Sanklecha, ran through the Mumbai line-up in 38.1 overs. Adding to their 122-run first-innings lead, Mumbai folded for a mere 129 in their second essay.
Sanklecha, who had kept the home team on its toes in the first innings, kept posing questions to the batsmen. He set the tone for the innings with the all-important wicket of Wasim Jaffer in the second over without a run on the board. After Samad Fallah bowled a maiden first over, Sanklecha had the Mumbai opener edge to Chirag Khurana in the slips.
Aditya Tare, who replaced Jaffer, punched the ball through the covers for four. But that was the only bright spot in the Mumbai innings before lunch. In the next over, Kaustubh Pawar poked at a Fallah delivery and was caught sharply by Sangram Atitkar at third slip.
Four overs after lunch, Sanklecha dealt a double-blow by sending back Vinit Indulkar and Abhishek Nayar off consecutive deliveries. The ball nicked Indulkar’s bat and was collected by Rohit Motwani. Nayar edged the next ball to Khurana at second slip. However, Suryakumar Yadav, who was facing the hat-trick ball, smacked it to the boundary to get off the mark. In the following over, Khurana snapped the ball diving to his left at second slip off Fallah to send back Tare.
With half the side back in the dressing room, Iqbal Abdullah joined forces with Suryakumar to help build on the lead. But after a 48-run partnership, he returned nicking Shrikant Mundhe to Atitkar at third slip.
Mumbai’s batting continued to falter as 10¬ runs later, Suryakumar was trapped leg-before by Mundhe, leaving the team on 88 for seven. Three balls later when tea was taken, Zaheer Khan was yet to open his account, while Shardul Thakur was batting on three.
Soon after tea, Mundhe also accounted for Zaheer immediately after Mumbai had reached 100. And after adding six runs to the total, Javed Khan lost his middle-stump to Sanklecha. Fallah then wrapped up Mumbai’s second innings for 129 by sending back Thakur for 33.
Maharashtra’s Khurana then came out to open the batting with Harshad Khadiwale as the visitors looked to scale the target set by the defending champions. They negotiated Zaheer Khan and his men with determination, but in the last over of the day, Khurana was caught by Wasim Jaffer off Zaheer.
Earlier in Maharashtra’s first innings, Mumbai had about an hour-an-half to get their first breakthrough of the day as Mundhe and Akshay Darekar rallied on to chip away at the deficit. They had helped add 45 runs before the partnership folded for 73. Zaheer introduced Abdullah in the 64th over of the innings as Mumbai looked to wrap up the visitors’ innings.
However, it was with the new ball that Mumbai ultimately bowled Maharashtra out; they claimed the remaining three wickets for 16 runs in 4.3 overs. Thakur dismissed Mundhe to complete his maiden five-wicket haul. The lower-order batsman, who had put forth a determined effort, departed chasing the ball and edging the pacer to Tare behind the wicket off the first delivery with the new ball. Couple of overs later, Sanklecha hit Javed to Dabholkar at mid-off. And in the following over, Akshay Darekar, who was dropped on 35 in the slips, edged Thakur to the wicketkeeper to bring the curtains down on Maharashtra’s first innings for 280.