Mumbai push hard for victory over Punjab

Mumbai: Mumbai grabbed a handsome 204-run first innings lead over Punjab and then put the visitors under pressure by reducing them to 203 for four on day three of their four-day concluding Elite Group A Ranji Trophy match at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

Resuming at their overnight 308 for 5 in reply to Punjab`s paltry first innings score of 226, Mumbai were all out for 430 after batting for 110 minutes this morning and then pressed on for a victory.

Punjab, 56 for 2, were rallied by a century stand between captain Uday Kaul (63 not out) and their leading scorer of the season Mayank Siddhana (57), but it was broken in the last half hour to close when the latter departed.

Mumbai grabbed another wicket by dismissing Amitoz Singh cheaply and at stumps Kaul, who has batted for 218 minutes and faced 176 balls, had new batsman Bipul Sharma (1) for company.

Though the wicket held no devils for the batsmen, Mumbai would be fancying their chances tomorrow for an outright win and five points to go with it, having dismissed the main batsmen barring the left-handed Kaul.

Kshemal Waingankar bagged 2 for 55 in three spells, including the wicket of Amitoz Singh after he was brought on late for a new spell by Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer, while the other wickets were shared equally by first innings hero and debutant Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Jr) and Ramesh Powar.

Off spinner Powar gave the crucial breakthrough before close when he induced Siddhana to drive and had him caught at short mid wicket after a vigil of 202 minutes. The batsman struck seven fours and a six in 120 balls.

Brief scores: Punjab 226 and 203 for 4 (S Kanwar 48, M Siddhana 57, U Kaul batting 63, B Sharma batting 1; K Waingankar 2 for 55). Mumbai 430 (K Pawar 46, W Jaffer 82, S Yadav 64, A Chavan 73, R Powar 81; Harmeet Singh 2 for 67, Rahul Sharma 3 for 129).

PTI

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