Although the Wankhede Stadium strip has been cruel to bowlers in the last few matches, yesterday was certainly an exception as 12 wickets fell on Day One of the Group 'B' Ranji Trophy match between Mumbai and Railways.
Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur (third from right) celebrates dismissing Railways' Sagar Mishra yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
After bundling out Railways for 217, thanks to Shardul Thakur's 4-38, Mumbai lost debutant Jay Bista (2) and night watchman Dhawal Kulkarni (0) early as the hosts were 4-2 at stumps.
Thakur, who claimed his third four-wicket haul in an innings in seven Ranji matches, once again missed out on claiming fifer. "It's important (for a bowler to take five-wicket hauls). I don't know why I am not getting five wickets this season. But I am happy taking four wickets also," said Thakur.
Railways, who won the toss and elected to bat, were in deep trouble after Thakur and Kulkarni reduced the visitors to 4-48 in the first hour. However, Arindam Ghosh (67) and Sagar Mishra (46) helped Railways recover with an 85-run fifth wicket partnership to post a respectable total.
Thakur was successful in dismissing Railways opener Saurabh Wakaskar (4) out caught behind in the fourth over of the day after failing to middle the ball.
In his next over, Thakur managed to claim the wicket of V Cheluvaraj (7), who edged it to Suryakumar Yadav at second slip.
Thakur on a roll
From the other end, Kulkarni removed the other opener Ashish Singh, who took 30 minutes to score just three runs, caught behind. Thakur came back to claim his third wicket in the first session when Vivek Singh was caught behind for 28.
Ghosh steadied the innings, rotating the strike well with Mishra and punishing the odd loose ball.
Ghosh made full use of the second chance when Mumbai skipper and wicketkeeper Aditya Tare dropped him on 33 off left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar while the right-hander was trying to play a backfoot shot.
Dabholkar, however, got his man when Ghosh failed to read the delivery and ended up edging it to Yadav at slips.
Mishra, who was scoring at a brisk pace and also hit the lone six of the Railways innings at long on off Dabholkar, was dismissed by Thakur to end Railways'
Railways: 217 all out (A Ghosh 67, S Mishra 46; S Thakur 4-38, D Kulkarni 2-40, H Singh 2-41) vs Mumbai: 4-2