Railways run through Mumbai
Railways rookie pacer T Pradeep makes most of overcast conditions to claim 6-37 to rattle Suryakumar Yadav's star-studded team as 41-time champions concede first innings lead.
Wickets fell in a heap on a lively track and in overcast conditions on Day One of the Ranji Trophy league match at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday as 41-time champions Mumbai were shot out at the stroke of lunch for a meagre first innings score of 114 by Railways.
In reply, the visitors had inched their way to 116 for 5 at stumps in the four-day game after recovering from a brittle 43 for five through a fighting, unbroken stand of 73 between Arindam Ghosh (52) and captain Karn Sharma (24) that put Railways just in front.
But with plenty of time left in the match, Mumbai can still turn the tables on their rivals with a much better second innings batting effort after their forgettable show when they lasted for just 28.3 overs.
It was clearly a pace bowlers' day as Tippenswamy Pradeep, who grabbed six for 37 in two spells which included a devastating second spell of 4-6 in 15 balls, Amit Mishra (3-41) and Himanshu Sangwan (1-33), brought the hosts to their knees with some accurate bowling.
The Railways trio was aided by the extra bounce offered by the track as well as some mixed approach to the challenge by the strong Mumbai batting line-up.
In the context of what happened during the day, Mumbai skipper Suryakumar Yadav's 39 in 40 balls with five fours shone bright in the first extended session although he departed to a cross-batted shot against Bengaluru-born Pradeep, 25, in the bowler's new spell after change of ends.
Yadav, who batted for 71 minutes and was seventh out, tried to take the attack to the opposition and fell. Earlier, Mumbai had been reduced to 79-5 with the procession to the pavilion started by opener Prithvi Shaw (12 in 11 balls), coming into the game after his double century knock against Baroda in the last game.
Pradeep dismissed Test stalwart Ajinkya Rahane (5), caught in the slip cordon edging a defensive shot, and opener Jay Bista (21), who played a poor shot, in successive overs to put Mumbai on the rear foot.
There was a brief recovery spearheaded by Yadav but when Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare and Akash Parkar also left in quick succession to leave Mumbai at a difficult 100 for six, the captain decided that attack was the better option. He succeeded to some extent before falling to Pradeep, who then mopped up the tail in quick time in only his third first-class game.
"I am really happy taking wickets against Mumbai as they are a strong side. This was also my first five-wicket haul," said Pradeep. "I enjoyed taking Suryakumar's wicket the most as he played well and I also planned for it."
The Mumbai bowlers, led by lanky Deepak Shetty, led the fight-back after lunch by reducing the visitors to 23-3 and then 43-5.
Shetty (3-20), a controversial inclusion in place of the injured Dhawal Kulkarni, was the pick of the bowlers with the extra lift he got off the track.
Coming on as first change, Shetty snapped up three of the first five Railways wickets that fell. Shetty did not give away a run in his first five overs while grabbing the wickets of opener Pratham Singh and No. 5 Navneet Virk.
Ghosh batted cautiously in the company of captain Karn, before opening out with punishing shots off Thakur, to pull his side out of the rut on either side of tea.
Solar eclipse to delay start
The second day's play between Mumbai and Railways Ranji Trophy match will commence at 11:30am on Thursday instead of the scheduled 9:30am because of the total solar eclipse, it was learnt. Twenty four overs' play was lost on Wednesday due to bad light.
Meanwhile, the Saurastra v Uttar Pradesh match at Rajkot will also start at 11.30am.
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