That was the story of the day for Mumbai against Jammu & Kashmir yesterday
Mumbai coach Pravin Amre had warned that the 40-time champions could suffer an outright loss if they don't play "special cricket" after a disastrous Day One show against the less-fancied Jammu & Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy opener on Sunday.
Jammu & Kashmir players celebrate the wicket of Mumbai's Aditya Tare on Day Two of Ranji Trophy opener at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
The former India batsman's fears might come true after yesterday's performance at the Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai bowlers did well to restrict J&K to 254 — only 18 runs more than Mumbai's 236 in the first innings. One expected Mumbai batters to put up a better show in their second dig, but that did not happen. Mumbai, who got a chance to bat in the last session of second day's play, slumped to 66-4, taking a slender lead of 48 runs.
Apart from skipper Suryakumar Yadav, batting on 17, the hosts are pinning hopes on Wasim Jaffer and Abhishek Nayar to rescue the team.
Jaffer's injury concern
However, it remains to be seen how Jaffer bats today after suffering a hairline finger fracture on his right hand. Jaffer injured his finger after dropping centurion Shubham Khajuria at slip when he was on 104. Khajuria, who slammed his maiden first-class century in only his sixth match, and Ian Dev Singh (70) took complete control of the game.
Just when the match seemed drifting away from Mumbai with J&K cruising at 200-2, the lion on their crest finally roared. J&K lost the momentum after Khajuria's run out on 107. In between lunch and tea, J&K lost eight wickets for 57 runs, including the last five for one run, to fold up for 254.
Left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar was most impressive with figures of 13-6-30-3. Iqbal Abdullah, Shardul Thakur and Dhawal Kulkarni claimed two wickets each. "The pacers (Kulkarni and Thakur) actually set the tone for us (spinners). They made things easier for us. We just had to bowl to a perfect line and length," said Dabholkar.
The batsmen needed to complement the spirited performance from Mumbai bowlers, but it was another spineless show. Mumbai openers — debutants Kevin Almedia (27) and Bravish Shetty (17), as well as Aditya Tare were once again guilty of throwing away their wickets, edging to the 'keeper Obaid Haroon. Ram Dayal got rid of the other debutant Shreyas Iyer (1) through Ian Dev's spectacular low catch at second slip.