Raje, Abdullah derail Railways; put Mumbai in control
Mumbai: Three early strikes by pacer Rohan Raje and a four-wicket haul by spinner Iqbal Abdullah helped hosts Mumbai restrict Railways to 201 on day one of the Group A Ranji Trophy Elite division match here on Wednesday.
In reply, Mumbai scored 42 before losing opener Omkar Gurav, trapped by Railways skipper Murali Karthik for 18 on the last ball of the day. Sahil Kukreja was unbeaten on 21 when stumps were drawn for the day.
Justifying skipper Wasim Jaffer’s decision to field first, Raje sent back M Suresh (1), S Bangar (4) and T P Singh (0) within the first eight overs to leave the visitors reeling at 16-3 at one stage. His figures at one stage read 4-3-4-3.
Abdullah then got into the act and cleaned up the lower order to ensure that the hosts, hunting for their first outright victory, took firm control of the proceedings.
It was left to young Prashant Awasthi (61, 113b, 4x100) to stage the rescue act. Awasthi shared a 55-run stand with the experienced Yere Goud (37) for the fifth wicket and 42 runs for the sixth wicket with wicket-keeper Mahesh Rawat (13) to ensure some respectability to the Railways total.
Opener B V Cheluvuraj, too, contributed to the total with a useful 38.
For Mumbai, Raje and Abdullah ended with figures of 3-41 and 4-42. Off-spinner Ramesh Powar and medium-pacer Dhaval Kulkarni shared two and one wicket respectively.
The match began an hour late due to wet out field, caused by Monday’s heavy rains.
Brief Score: Railways Ist innings 201 (P Awasthi 31, V Cheluvuraj 38, Yere Goud 38; I Abdullah 4-42, R Raje 3-41). Mumbai Ist innings 42-1 (Sahil Kukreja 21 not out; Murali Karthik 1-16).