Electing to bat first after winning the toss against Odisha in their Ranji Trophy tie at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday,Mumbai have thrown hints of following trusted tactics that make them a champion outfit.
The hosts put on a patient 242 for the loss of two wickets at stumps on the first day,and,having deceived the opposition into a numbing lull,will look to increase their scoring rate on the second and leave the visitors with a big total and a mountain to climb.
Central to Mumbais dogged plans was the familiar gentle giant of domestic cricket captain Wasim Jaffer who showed no signs of any wavering focus amidst his recent re-appointment as skipper and anchored the slow kill on unfancied opponents even as the ball moved in nippy morning Mumbai air.
Jaffer found himself in a familiar position when he was called in to steady Mumbais innings after in-form Aditya Tare nicked one to debutant wicketkeeper Sujit Lenka with the score on 33. Mumbais batting messiah,like every year,again rescued his teams innings with a 125-run knock off 248 balls.
The 35-year old worked patiently on the building blocks of the first innings and his stodgy play contrasted nicely with the occasional burst of energy as he would break free and smack the bowlers hitting eleven boundaries and three sixes in his innings.
The Mumbai skippers batting was layered with a selection of elegant strokes,including a sweep-shot that brought up his third century of the season. The only flaw in Jaffers performance on the day came when he was dropped kindly on 120 by Suryakant Pradhan at midwicket.
Hiken Shah,batting at number four,whose 67 runs contributed to the 172-run unbroken partnership he formed with Jaffer for the third wicket.
Addressing Mumbais relatively low run-rate,Shah stated: The Odisha bowlers kept a good line and length which made it difficult to play shots. Their fielding also complemented the bowling.
Basant Mohanty opened the bowling for Odisha and the 27-year old opened the bowling for his side and his controlled swing got the better of a struggling Tare. Mohanty then picked up his second wicket by bowling Mumbai opener Sushant Marathe (27 off122). Mohanty has now picked up 24 wickets this season and despite being unable to break the Jaffer-Shah partnership,his 24 overs on the day saw him give away a miserly 33 runs.
Brief scores: Mumbai 242/2 in 90 ov. (W Jaffer 125*,H Shah 67*; B Mohanty 2/33)