Just before this match, we celebrated Ajit Agarkar's birthday on 4th December. But then, out came the news that he won't be available for this match. In fact, he won't be available for rest of the tournament. Bitter shock! Not only because a senior player backed out, but also because it was a major set-back for team Mumbai.
This time Mumbai met Saurashtra at Khandheri Cricket Stadium, Rajkot. Bitter-sweet rivalry between these 2 teams have always been a pleasure to watch. Starting on a very low note, Saurashtra won the toss and elected to bat. Day 1 went almost wicket-less for Mumbai as theopeners Pathak and Chauhan went on to score TON each. The pitch was flat as a highway road; clearly a batsmen paradise again. So did that happen! At the end of the day 1, Saurashtra was at a very comfortable position of 244-2; while Powar and Zak could pick 1 wicket each only in the 3rd session.
Day 2: Starting on a little positive note for Mumbai, Zak and Iqqi got 2 wickets each in the first session. But runs came pouring in for the opponents. Shah scored an easy 78 and Kotak got 59. Then,Ramesh Powar striked! Got 3 wickets back-to-back. Finally, Saurashtra declared at 580-9. Not much of batting paradise for Mumbai, as they lost their opener Marathe for ZERO. And then, to add to the trouble, Nayar got OUT in just 4 runs. At the end of the day's play, Mumbai was at 19-2.
Day 3: Mumbai continued to struggle as they lost 2 wickets in the first session. Captain Wasim: 4 runs and KP: 8 runs. SKY and HK Shah got a steady 148 runs-partnership each scoring a TON. And then the down-fall started. Mumbai lost wickets in quick succession. Mumbai were ALL OUT at 360 withManiyar picking up 5 wickets. Follow-on forced.
Day 4: Went slow as Mumbai was trying to save wickets and Saurashtra was trying to get them. Opener Marathe made 1 run from 56 balls. Both Marathe and KP got out quick. Captain Wasim made a daring century and Nayar got 67 runs from 77 balls. Then, Nayar got out and Mumbai were at 95-3. SKY and Wasim continued to bat whole day and added 111 runs on board. After SKY got out, the match was pretty much a draw.
At the end of the match, Mumbai was 276-4 and gained 1 point while Saurashtra earned 3 points.
BM Chauhan: 157
CR Pathak: 116
HK Shah: 113
SK Yadav: 111
W Jaffer: 110
SM Maniar: 5
J Unadkat: 3
Z Khan: 3
A special mention for Hiken Shah who was playing his first match in thie season and also scored a TON. Mumbai continue to be in the second position with 17 points in the points table as Karnataka are the toppers with 20 points.
Images courtesy: Times of India.