Ranji Trophy: Royston Dias delivers in crunch time for Mumbai
"You have to step up when a player from your team gets injured and you have to do something that helps your team get through
Mumbai's lanky pacer Royston Dias stole the spotlight yesterday when his 3-52 in 18 overs helped restrict Gujarat to 232 for eight in reply to Mumbai's 297 on Day Two of their Ranji Trophy Group A clash at the Wankhede Stadium.
Dhruv Raval's unbeaten 60 kept Gujarat in the contest as the hosts trailed by 65 runs. With Mumbai one pacer short due to the recurrence of a hamstring injury to Tushar Deshpande (7-1-23-0), Dias, Dhawal Kulkarni (2-50) and Shivam Dube (2-45) had to bear the extra workload on a bouncy Wankhede track. Dias, who got a chance to bowl in a Ranji Trophy match after a year's gap, bowled with gusto. "In a team like Mumbai, you have to wait for your chance. It's very competitive, so whenever I get a chance, I try to give my best for the team," Dias said.
"You have to step up when a player from your team gets injured and you have to do something that helps your team get through. As I was bowling well, I took the initiative. The job is yet to be done, but yes, it was a good day for me," added Dias.
Gujarat negotiated the new ball in the morning session quite sensibly with openers Priyank Panchal (31) and Kushang Patel (28) finding the gaps easily between the mid-off and mid-on fielders. Dias managed to get the first breakthrough when it was needed the most — compelling Panchal to nick a beautiful inswinger to wicketkeeper Aditya Tare. Three overs later, skipper Kulkarni dismissed Patel with an outswinger.
Except wicketkeeper-batsman Raval, who displayed a positive and attacking intent, all the top order batsmen failed to capitalise on the good start. Part-time off-spinner Jay Bista finally broke the 65-run, fourth wicket stand between Rujul Bhatt (41) and Manpreet Juneja (37). Dias, who bowled 18 overs with same intensity across four spells, got rewarded with the wickets of all-rounders Roosh Kalaria (23) and Piyush Chawla (1) during his last spell of four overs in which he conceded only seven runs. Dias was unlucky not to claim his fourth wicket when substitute Akash Parkar dropped Raval on 48 at midwicket.
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