Ranji Trophy: Tushar Deshpande, Shardul Thakur light up Wankhede
Put into bat on a grassy pitch, the visitors' opening pair of Anuj Tiwary (18) and Abhimanyu Chauhan (4) negotiated the opening spells from Thakur and skipper Dhaval Kulkarni very well
Tushar Deshpande's fifer and Shardul Thakur's 4-32 helped hosts Mumbai bundle out Chhattisgarh for 129 on Day One of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group 'A' game yesterday. At stumps, Mumbai were 118 for three as comeback man Suryakumar Yadav and Dhrumil Matkar remained unbeaten on 31 and zero respectively.
Put into bat on a grassy pitch, the visitors' opening pair of Anuj Tiwary (18) and Abhimanyu Chauhan (4) negotiated the opening spells from Thakur and skipper Dhaval Kulkarni very well. However, the introduction of Deshpande in the ninth over of the innings made the difference. The right-arm pacer started off with an outswinger to Chauhan and followed it up with an inswinger to uproot the batsman's off stump.
Chhattisgarh lost another three batsmen and went into lunch at 82 for four. Except for one-drop batsman Ashutosh Singh (30) and Amandeep Khare (48, 8x4, 1x6), the others failed to negotiate the swing. Khare, an ex-India U-19 cricketer, thrice dispatched left-arm spinner Dhrumil Matkar to the boundary to reach 25 off 25 balls.
The right-hander clubbed his first six by lofting Deshpande over the covers to reach 44. However, in the next over, Deshpande compelled Khare to edge an outswinger for wicketkeeper Eknath Kerkar to take a brilliant diving low catch.
Deshpande, who missed out on playing four games due to a hamstring injury and made a comeback against Vidarbha last week, felt Thakur's presence in the team helped. "Shardul is a Test player so obviously his experience helped. He shared his inputs and that helped a lot," said Deshpande. Earlier, Siddhesh Lad's back injury prevented him from leading the side.
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