Irani Trophy: Kukreja, Nair propel Mumbai to 385/8

Published: Sunday, October 7, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Rajkot: Centuries by elegant opener Sahil Kukreja (110) and middle-order batsman Abhishek Nair (118) helped Mumbai score 385 for eight wickets against Rest of India on the opening day of the five-day Irani Trophy match at the Madhav Rao Scindia Stadium here on Saturday.

Kukreja and Nair added a valuable 171 runs for the fifth wicket stand.

Kukreja was unfortunately run out while taking a cheeky single when S Badrinath's direct hit uprooted the stumps before he could reach the crease. His innings of 110 runs was studded with 17 fours off 210 balls.

southpaw Nair was more aggressive than his partner and punished every loose delivery from the bowlers with cut, drives and pulls.

His explosive innings of 118 runs off 107 balls came to an end when he was caught at fine leg by Ishant Sharma off the bowling of off-spinner P Ojha.

He executed twenty fours and one mighty six while staying at the pitch for 130 minutes.

Earlier, Amol Muzumdar won the toss and opted to bat first on a good batting track.

Openers Kukreja and Ajinkya Rahane laid the solid foundation as the duo put on 91 runs for the first wicket before the latter was trapped LBW off medium pacer Ranadeb Bose after scoring 52.

Medium Pacers Munaf Patel and Ranadeb Bose failed to extract bounces as the openers were playing sensibly and kept scoreboard ticking with ease.

A Rahane completed his half century with the help of eight boundaries. Bose took his wicket trapping him lbw. He made 52 runs. Wasim Jaffer, vice captain of Mumbai, did not last long and went cheaply after scoring eight runs. He was caught by Mohd Kaif off medium pacer Bose. Another aspirant for team India, the captain of Mumbai Ranji Team Amol Muzumdar also failed to score and was out for eight, trapped lbw by P Ojha.

At this stage, Mumbai team's score was 165 for five and Rest of India Team was well in command to restrict their opponents. But after the arrival of middle order batsman A Nair, the complexion of the game changed with his explosive innings of 118 runs and he put on 171 runs for the sixth wicket with Kukreja.

After the departure of both the batsmen, the Rest of India team grabbed two more wickets and restricted Mumbai from piling up a huge score.

Bose was most successful bowler who took three wickets for 88 while Ishant Sharma captured two wickets for 58 runs. Off spinner P Ojha also took two wickets conceding 96 runs.

Off-spinner Ramesh Powar, who was dropped from Team India for the one-dayers against Australia, today joined the Mumbai team and was batting on 28 and Iqbal Abdulla was on 16 when stumps were drawn.

Brief Score: Mumbai: Ist Innings 385 for eight in 86 overs (S Kukreja 110, A Rahane 52, A Nair 118, R Power 28 n o; R Bose 3 for 88, Ishant Sharma2 for 58 and P Ojha 2 for 96) Vs Rest of India.


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