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Gujarat ahead in Mumbai’s do-or-die game

Mumbai were bundled out for a paltry total of 154 as the Gujarat bowlers rattled past their defences.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Valsad |
December 31, 2013 4:13:38 am

The worries in the Mumbai dressing room don’t look like subsiding at the turn of the year and skipper Wasim Jaffer’s worst fears were haunting him again on Monday. It was a story similar to Bangalore last week,although this time at a different venue where Mumbai’s inexperienced batting line-up failed to adapt to the necessity of occupying the crease.

In their do-or-die game pursuing a spot in the knockouts,Mumbai were bundled out for a paltry total of 154 as the Gujarat bowlers rattled past their defences.

It was not only the absence of temperament which led to Mumbai’s top-order collapsing in a mere two sessions,but batsmen’s shot selections too were a cause of headache for their captain.

On a hazy day at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium,Mumbai decided to bat first,hoping their batsmen would not have to face the pressure of a chase. Mumbai had come here on the back of a loss against Karnataka where the team had crumbled spectacularly while to chasing down a tough target.

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It was out-of-form Kaustubh Pawar and Jaffer,who carried the responsibility of building one big stand at the top of the order,something that has eluded the champions this season.

The fog meant Mumbai had walked out an hour later than the scheduled start,but little did they know that two sessions later they’d be out on the field trying to defend a small score.

getting their man

Jaffer started strongly with two back-foot punches against Ishwar Chaudhary but the Gujarat pacer bowled one on his pads,which the veteran batsman couldn’t help but edge behind to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.

Jaffer’s wicket was the one which Gujarat had been baying for and they knew when the big fish had been caught in the net. Gujarat soon pounced on their opponents unleashing Jasprit Bumrah,who with his unorthodox action,was tough to handle. As his zinger zipped away it shattered one-drop Doraiswamy Subramanian’s off-stump with the batsman trying to shoulder arms.

Mumbai were 25 for 2 and Gujarat ensured their opponents were not allowed a way back into the game.

Bhargav Merais soon got Hiken Shah,who had hit two decent drives,caught at short point while Aditya Tare perished driving Chaudhary as his blade kissed the red-cherry before being pouched by Parthiv Patel.Surya Kumar Yadav found an inside edge to Bumrah and Pravin Tambe was caught at slip off left-arm spinner Aksar Patel.

Season disintegrating

Mumbai,who have seen their season falter after a solid start,had not been in such a precarious position this season and at 6 for 74,were staring at an inevitable collapse. Iqbal Abdulla,who was picked after being side-lined earlier,came to Mumbai’s rescue. He struck two fours in Bumrah’s 13th to see him hoard 19 runs in one over,and in the next he slammed two more off Chaudhary.When it looked like Mumbai might get a decent partnership going,Kaustubh punched one to point and ran. inviting Abdulla to the danger end. The number eight dived but it was too late. Parthiv was quick in removing the bails.

Mumbai saw some powerful hitting in the end,as Javed Khan slammed two sixes off Rakesh Dhruv and later cleared long-off from Aksar Patel but they could barely cross 150.

In reply,Gujarat were 90 for 2 with Parthiv Patel and Samit Gohel batting on 5 and 36 respectively. With the likes of Venugopal Rao to follow,the hosts will certainly look for a handsome lead on the second day.

Brief scores: Mumbai 154 all out 52.5 overs (KR Pawar 37,I Abdulla 30; AR Patel 3/32,JJ Bumrah 2/36) vs Gujarat 90/2 in 35 overs (BH Mehrai 37,SB Gohel 36*; I Abdullah 1/25)

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