Powar and Kulkarni put Mumbai in command

Published: Tuesday, December 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Spinners Ramesh Powar and Nilesh Kulkarni struck telling blows at the fag end of the second day's play to leave Gujarat gasping at 118 for five in reply to the hosts 503 for seven declared at close of play on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy Elite division match at the Wankhede stadium here today.

At close of play, opener Nilesh Modi was batting with 34 with Gujarat still needing a further 236 runs to avoid the follow-on.

Earlier, the 36-times champion Mumbai, desparately needing points from this game to avoid relegation after drawing a blank in the first three matches, resuming at their overnight score of 283 for five were guided towards their mammoth total of 503 for seven declared by overnight batsmen Rohit Sharma, who cracked a superb double century and Abhishek Nair who fell short of his maiden 100 by just 3 runs to put Mumbai in a commanding position.

The two put on 213 runs for the sixth wicket to frustrate Gujarat with Rohit Sharma finally being dismissed for 205 being caught at mid-on by Amit Singh off the bowling of Ashraf Makda and then Nair falling three runs short being caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel again of Makda for 97. Ramesh Powar then used the long handle to good effect cracking a 12 ball 22 with four fours and a six to push the Mumbai total past 500.

Gujarat, replying to the total, began on a disastrous note when opener Timil Patel was dismissed by Swapnil Hazare for just six runs caught at second slip by Vinayak Mane with the team total reading 12.

However, Neeraj Patel showed the class that he has as he went for the Mumbai attack hammer and tongs and with Nilesh Modi, who was solid as a rock at the other, end the two put on 93 runs for the second wicket in quick time with Neeraj Patel cracking a superb attacking 62 in just 91 balls with as many as 12 boundaries before he was caught behind trying to cut Ramesh Powar. Gujarat were then 105 for two.

This opened the floodgates for the Mumbai spinners as Parthiv Patel was snapped up at first slip by Amol Muzumdar for just 9 and then in the last over of the day Nilesh Kulkarni send back Amit Singh and Bhavik Thakkar to leave Gujarat with a mammoth task ahead of them on day three.

Brief Scores:

Mumbai first innings: 503 (overnight 283 for five) (S Kukreja 58, V Mane 33, A Muzumdar 52, R Sharma 205, A Nair 97, R Powar not out 22)

Gujarat first innings: (N Modi batting 34, N Patel 62) 118 for five wickets


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