FOR A while, Murtuja Vohra and Sagar Mangalorkar, two unfancied tailenders without any pretensions as batsmen, gave an all mighty scare to Mumbai as they threatened to secure a lead for Baroda.
Everything played out according to cricketing tradition as they hunted down the target: None of their teammates moved from their seats in keeping with the cricketing superstition, lots of positive chirping began to emerge from their dressing room as suddenly real hope began to float, and then the bowling team stuck just when one really began to wonder if anything sensational was really about to happen.
Baroda needed to overhaul Mumbai’s 447, and there wasn’t any hope when play began in the morning. But the no 10 and no 11 added 90 runs in 234 balls , and came within 50 runs of the target. Vohra had completed his first fifty of first-class cricket and Mangalorkar was at his highest score of 30 before their dream, and dare, ended.
Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur got a delivery to brush Mangalorkar’s glove enroute to the ‘keeper Aditya Tare and endured that Mumbai took three points from the game.
The next couple of sessions were merely for some individual honours. Suryakumar Yadav notched up his seventh first-class hundred with 12 fours and a six.
Prior to the season, Yadav had slogged hard on his fitness, losing nine kilos. And has shown a good temperament and pleasing shot selection, to take ownership of the anchoring role for the side.
There were plenty of positives for Mumbai and their newly appointed coach Chandrakant Pandit.
The classy Shreyas Iyer was consistent whereas Yadav again spent long hours with the bat, and didn’t display any impatience for which he was criticised in the previous seasons. And most importantly, Dhawal Kulkarni tasted his first success of the season with a five wicket-haul and Abhishek Nayar hit a fifty to end the run drought.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 447 and 202/5 in 61.3 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 100, Akhil Herwadkar 58; Swapnil Singh 3-70) Baroda 397. Points: Mumbai 3, Baroda 1.