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Ranji Trophy: Mumbai's Young Turks hand them the advantage vs Karnataka

Young Turks Siddesh Lad and Nikhil Patil Jr rescue Mumbai with counter-attacking, unbeaten half centuries to take the hosts to a comfortable 342 for 5 at stumps on Day 1 of their Ranji Trophy match against defending champions Karnataka

Mumbai's youngsters are standing up when it matters the most and shouldering their responsibility.

On Day One of their must-win Ranji tie against defending champions Karnataka, it was 22-year-old Siddhesh Lad and Nikhil Patil Jr (25) who stood up and gave Mumbai an upperhand at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

The hosts finished the day on 342-5 with Lad batting on 94 and Patil, playing only his second game of the season, was unbeaten on 85.

Nikhil Patil Jr

Mumbai's Nikhil Patil Jr in action duirng the Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on Friday. Pic/PTI

The duo stitched together an unbeaten 175-run partnership for the sixth wicket, rescuing the team from a precarious 167 with five wickets down.

While Patil was the more compact of the duo and hardly played any loose shot, Lad made most of the two lives he got.

Lad was first dropped on 13 by Manish Pandey at first slip, with the team score reading 148 for five, and then got another life when R Samarth dropped him at gully on 55.

Mumbai, whose quarterfinal hopes hinge on them securing an outright win over the group leaders, still have a long way to go in the match, but at least they now have a solid base from which to launch an attack.

Earlier, Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare bailed his team out with a strokeful 72 which included 15 fours after his opening partner Shrideep Mangela (4) and No 3 batsman Shreyas Iyer (20) departed early in the innings.

Siddhesh LadMumbai's Siddhesh Lad acknowledges his team-mates and the crowd after reaching his half-century against Karnataka during the Ranji Trophy game in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on Friday. Pic/PTI

Earlier, Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare bailed his team out with a strokeful 72 which included 15 fours after his opening partner Shrideep Mangela (4) and No 3 batsman Shreyas Iyer (20) departed early in the innings.

Tare teamed up with senior all-rounder Abhishek Nayar, who made a comeback after missing out on the last three league matches due to injury. The duo added 75 runs for the third wicket before Tare was caught at point by Samarth off leggie Shreyas Gopal. At the time of his dismissal, the Mumbai skipper was looking good for a big knock as the Karnataka bowlers had largely failed to ruffle him.

Tare made his intentions clear from the outset, smashing three boundaries in the second over of the day off Abhimanyu Mithun. Having a positive partner like Nayar at the other end also helped Tare play more freely and fluently as he smashed a brace of boundaries in an over quite frequently.

But once off-spinner Udit Patel claimed the wickets of Surya Kumar Yadav (19) and Nayar (36) in the span of seven balls, Mumbai had to go back to the rebuilding the innings.

Lad and Patil, though, did not disappoint as the hosts put up a commendable show.

“It was an extremely important partnership for us. Anything could have happened when we were five down for 167. They are both extremely talented batsmen,” said Tare.

Scores: Mumbai 342 for 5 (A Tare 72, A Nayar 36, S Lad batting 94, N Patil batting 85; Vinay Kumar 2 for 65, Udit Patel 2 for 68) v Karnataka.

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