Zaheer rips thro Bengal batting; Mumbai in control

Published: Saturday, February 3, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Zaheer Khan produced a devastating spell of fast bowling and ripped through the Bengal batting lineup to dimiss the visitors for a paltry 143 runs in their first innings to put Mumbai in complete control on the second day of the five-day Ranji Trophy Super League final at the Wankhede stadium here today.

By close of the second day's play, Mumbai had progressed to 113 for two in their reply giving them an overall lead of 290 with Wasim Jaffer batting on 50 and Wilkin Mota on 0 at the crease.

Resuming at 281 for five this morning, Mumbai folded up for 320 in just 15.4 overs with Ranadeb Bose claiming 4-77.

Bengal after restricting Mumbai to inside 320, began their second innings on a disastrous note when Ajit Agrakar dimissed their captain Deep Dasgupta, caught at gully by Rohit Sharma for a duck.

Zaheer Khan then took over and began his demolition job, getting rid of Abhishek Jhunjhunwala for two in his first over and the innings second when the ball moved away from the batsman after pitching. Jhunjhunwala, playing away from his body, got an edge which was taken by wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant with Bengal on three runs for two wickets.

Zaheer got Arindam Das in similar fashion for seven as Bengal were tottering at 28 for three. Arindam was earlier dropped by wicketkeeper Samant off Zaheer when Bengal was on 18-2.

Zaheer then got the biggest wicket when he beat Sourav Ganguly facing this first ball, all ends up for speed as the southpaw could not get his bat down in time before his middle stump was uprooted from the ground as Bengal fell further into trouble at 28 for four.

This was the third successive time in domestic matches that Zaheer Khan had got the better of Sourav Ganguly, dimissing him all three times for a duck.

Manoj Tiwari and Rohan Gavaskar then tried to stabilise the Bengal innings, using attack as the best form of defence. Tiwari who has been in prime form in his very first season, having already scored two double centuries, took a liking to Ajit Agarkar smashing him for three boundaries in one over, two of them being equisite cover drives and the third a ferocious pull to the midwicket fence.

Agarkar, however was unlucky when Abhishek Nair dropped Rohan Gavaskar with the batsman on 11 for a difficult chance in the covers.

Zaheer, however, got Rohan Gavaskar when he chased a wide delivery only to edge it to Vinayak Samant. Rohan Gavaskar made 21 with two boundaries to leave Bengal on 72 for five. They were soon 72 for six when in the same over Zaheer removed Laxmi Ratan Shukla caught behind by Vinayak Smant for 0.

Wilkin Mota, replacing Ajit Agarkar then got the danger man Manoj Tiwari trapped in front of the wicket for 42 which came from just 43 balls and was inclusive of eight boundaries as Bengal further slumped to eight for 106.

A few lusty blows by the tailenders took Bengal past the follow on target of 121 before being all out for 143 with Zaheer Khan being the outstanding bowler in his first match for Mumbai taking five for 40.

Mumbai lost Sahil Kukreja early once again for just five caught behind by Deep Dasgupta of Ranadeb Bose with the score on six.

However, Wasim Jaffer and Rohit Sharma took apart the Bengal attack putting on 107 runs for the second wicket with Jaffer following up his 100 in the first innings with an unbeaten half century, while Rohit Sharma showed why he is being hailed as the next great talent to hit Indian cricket with the 20-year-old scoring a stroke filled 57 in 85 balls with seven fours and a six. He was beaten by a superb inswinger by Ashok Dinda beating the batsman on the forward defensive stroke to clip the off bail at the fag end of the day.

Nightwatchman Wilkin Mota then played out time with Jaffer to take Mumbai to 113 for two at close of play.

Brief Scores

Mumbai Ist innings 320 (Tendulkar 105, Wasim Jaffer 112, Muzamdar 31; Ranadeb Bose 4 for 77, S Lahiri 2 for 69, Sourav Sarkar 2 for 76, Ganguly 1 for 30) and 113 for 2 (Rohit Sharma 57, Wasim Jaffer 50 n o; R Bose 1 for 26, A Dinda 1 for 36) Vs Bengal 143 (Manoj Tiwari 42, S Sarkar 25, S Lahiri 22, A Dinda 22 n o, R Gavaskar 21; Zaheer Khan 5 for 40, A Nair 1 FOR 18, Powar 1 for 22, Agarkar 1 for 42)


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