Ranji Trophy: Mumbai take upper hand on day two

Mumbai: Mumbai`s Hiken Shah slammed a career best 170 before the team`s bowlers ruffled Odisha`s top order on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Group A clash at the Wankhede Stadium here on sunday.

In reply to Mumbai`s mammoth 501 for nine declared, the visitors were straightaway pushed on to the back foot by the pacers to be left reeling at 79 for three at stumps on day two.

After pacer Javed Khan dismissed opener Girjia Rout (4) and Niranjan Behera (0) to reduce Odisha to 16 for two in seven overs, the visitors found themselves in a deeper hole at 36 for three in the 13th over when Govind Podder (2) was caught behind by Shardul Thakur, while skipper Biplab Samantray retired hurt two balls later after being hit on the head by a beamer.

Opener Natraj Behera (45) and Abhilash Mallick (28) were at the crease at the close of play, having put on an unbroken 43-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Odisha are still trailing Mumbai by 422 runs.

Earlier in the day, Mumbai lost overnight batsman in captain Jaffer, who added only 18 runs to his last night`s score of 125. Jaffer had stitched a 222-run stand with Shah for the third wicket before being dismissed by Deepak Behera.

Shah, resuming on 67 in a team total of 242 for two, showed intent as he slammed his career-best 170 and carted the Odisha bowlers for 13 additional fours and three sixes before being trapped leg before by left arm spinner Dhiraj Singh in the third over after lunch.

His 391-minute vigil yielded 21 fours and three sixes, and he also put on two vital partnerships, first with skipper Jaffer and then Suryakumar Yadav (28), with whom he shared a 99-run stand while scoring a lion`s share.

Odisha did well in the second session to wrest back some momentum by picking up four wickets, including Shah and debutant 42-year-old leg spinner Pravin Tambe.

Tambe hit a boundary off his first ball to get off the mark and made 18 that included four hits to the fence.

The Mumbai lower order also chipped in with some runs, and Javed Khan made a breezy 36 off 28 balls that included six fours and a six.

The holders started losing wickets in a clutch and skipper Jaffer declared the innings 16 minutes after tea.

Odisha spinner Dhiraj Singh came up with an improved performance today after being targeted by Jaffer and Shah yesterday.

Singh scalped three wickets and conceded 117 runs in his 25 overs after finishing with figures of 9-0-57-0 on saturday.

Fast bowler Basant Mohanty bowled 45 overs and grabbed three wickets while giving away 73 runs. Suryakant Pradhan and Deepak Behera picked up wicket a piece.

Brief scores:

Mumbai 501 for nine dec (Wasim Jaffer 143, Hiken Shah 170; Basant Mohanty 3/73, Dhiraj Singh 3/117).

Odisha: 79 for three (Natraj Behera not out 45; Javed Khan 2/07).

Despite his team being placed in a precarious position at 79 for three and trailing Mumbai by 422, Odisha captain Biplab Samatray exuded confidence of gaining a first innings lead.

"Though we lost some quick wickets, I still think we can chase this down because the remaining batsmen are all stroke makers and if they can spend some time on the wicket they can score runs," he told reporters after the end of the second day's play.

"Natraj (Behera) and Abhilash (Mallick) played very well and if they can continue in the same way it would be good for us. We lost a few wickets but still there are three or four guys on whom we can rely. Myself, Deepak (Behera), Sujit (Lenka), and am still confident that we can chase this down," he added.

Samatray retired hurt on a nought after the ball ricocheted from the helmet to hit his neck.

"It is better now. Because of the impact there is a bit of a swelling. It came from the helmet. First it hit the helmet and then the back of the neck," he said.

Asked about pacer Basant Mohanty being overloaded with 45 overs in the first innings, Samatray said, "He was the only bowler bowling in right areas and all the other bowlers including me were going for runs so he had to do something special."

Meanwhile, Mumbai pacer Javed Khan, who picked up two wickets today, said he followed recently retired batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan's advice to shorten his run-up.

"Paaji (Tendulkar) and Zaheer both helped me. After the first match both told me to shorten the run-up and said 'you would get a lot of control in your bowling and you can consistently bowl in right areas'. I did that. When I didn't play against Vidarbha, I worked on it," Javed said.

"I worked on my rhythm and shortened my run up. It is helping me. I am trying to maintain a good rhythm," he added.