Returning to action nearly six months ago after a wrist surgery,all-rounder Abhishek Nayars first outing with the Mumbai team could have ended in six minutes following a mix-up with Rohit Sharma.
Had Rajasthan wicket-keeper Rohit Jhalani collected the easy throw,Nayar would have trudged back to the pavilion at a time when Mumbai were already 37 for two. Rajasthan had posted 530 in the first innings and Mumbai were 104/2 at stumps. Sharma was batting on 55 and Nayar on 32. The Sharma-Nayar pair have a herculean task ahead. They have strung together partnerships in the past but the significant ones have been registered while batting first.
Rajasthan snared the wicket of Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer,a big blow for the hosts. Young opener Kaustubh Pawar failed to read Pankaj Singhs outswinger. Sharma was dropped twice in the covers by Vaibhav Deshpande and later in slips off Deepak Chahar.
Sharma hit Chahar for successive boundaries on two occasions and his half-century was aided by 11 boundaries. Nayar preferred the cover region. His 32 off 57 balls,included six boundaries through this region. The pair added 82 for the third wicket in 18 overs. Sharma told The Indian Express: I dont want to put pressure on Nayar as he is playing a first-class games after six months. Earlier,Rajasthan resumed at 309/4 and Hrishikesh Kanitkar,who was batting on 129,added twelve run more. Robin Bist (83) and a defiant tail took the score past 500.
Brief scores: Rajasthan 530 in 152.2 overs (H Kanitkar 141,R Bisht not out 82,R Parida 67,D Kulkarni 4/110,I Abdulla 3/91) vs Mumbai 104/2 in 25 overs (R Sharma batting 55,A Nayar batting 32,P Singh 2/40)