They couldn’t get a flight, so Mumbai Cricket Association decided to send their Ranji Trophy team to Vadodara by bus. When Mumbai reached the venue after an 11-hour ride, they were in for some more surprises. First, the pitch Mumbai thought would be offered for the game was changed – initially there were two pitches, one grassy and other normal, but they were given a third pitch, a slow turner — and later, they found out their most experienced batsman Wasim Jaffer was indisposed due to injury on his index finger.
It was a hard working day for Mumbai, who meandered to 218 for 6, but the good news was that their new captain, Aditya Tare, hit an unbeaten 67. Suryakumar Yadav, the man who quit captaincy before this game, batted 57 balls for his 13.
Mumbai had a decision to make in the morning: Who to open with? Aditya Tare or go with the debutant Shrideep Mangela? Coach Praveen Amre and Tare asked Mangela to pick his choice and he chose opening. And he made a confident start to his career. He left the ball well, was always behind the ball and looked secure. Of course, his name has been doing the rounds in Mumbai’s maidaan circuit where they were puzzled why he was given a break so late despite scoring consistently over a period of time.
The 26-year-old was picked for Rajasthan Royals through a talent hunt and was even offered a contract but never got a chance to play. Back in local cricket, he piled up the performances but the call never came.
“I kept scoring runs and was never bothered about the selection. It was important to keep performing because once you fail to perform, no one will notice you,” Mangela said after his 55. He might have started slowly but picked up his tempo, slamming three fours in an over from Irfan Pathan. Mumbai had got a decent start with their openers Mangela and Akhil Herwadkar adding 57 in 26 overs. Such was the pace of runs that Mumbai’s first boundary was scored in the 13th over of the day. However, Herwadkar went for a slog sweep and was bowled by Swapnil Singh.
The visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Munaf Patel sent back Shreyas Iyer and Mangela. Yadav fell to Yusuf Pathan, edging behind, whereas Siddhesh Lad went, top-edging a full toss from left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt. With just two overs left in the day, Mumbai lost Nikhil Patil, lbw to Irfan and what could have been a decent opening day for Mumbai, ended on a disappointing note.
Brief scores: Mumbai 218/6 in 90 overs.(A Tare 67 batting, S Mangela 55; M Patel 2/35) vs Baroda.