On the eve of the ongoing Ranji Trophy Group A match between Mumbai and Bengal at the Brabourne Stadium, home team captain Rohit Sharma had an intense five-minute chat with Ankeet Chavan. Apparently, it was a pep talk from the captain to his reliable teammate ahead of the crucial tie.
The ‘motivational’ chat combined with a sporting track saw left-arm spinner Chavan live up to his captain’s expectations.
Having bowled on flat surfaces in the previous two games, Chavan came up with a fine bowling performance — a four-wicket haul — on a helpful track to give Mumbai the upper hand on Day Two at the Brabourne Stadium.
Chavan was instrumental in helping Mumbai dismiss the visitors to 201 after having made 297 in their first innings. Mumbai, in their second essay, were six for no loss and have a healthy overall lead of 102 runs.
It was never easy for Bengal to chase Mumbai’s stiff first innings target of 297 on a pitch that was lively for both fast bowlers and spinners. On top of that, the Mumbai bowlers bowled a disciplined line throughout. They never let the Bengal batsmen to settle down.
The visitors huffed and puffed in their first innings. The only highlight of the Bengal innings was an unbeaten 98 from opener Arindam Das. He shared 72 for the third wicket with his captain Manoj Tiwary.
Tiwary, who struggled against the seamers initially, threw away his wicket despite being dropped at 23 by Jaffer in the slips off Chavan. Even though he looked settled after a brief struggle, he drove the left-arm spinner straight to Avishkar Salvi at mid-off for 39.
Chavan, who got good turn and bounce from the wicket, kept the batsmen on their toes. It were mostly the right-handers who struggled with his away-going deliveries.
Apart from Tiwary, Chavan’s victims were Subhomoy Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Veer Pratap Singh. Das was the only batsman who stood firm at one end while the others gave away their wickets at regular intervals.
Earlier in the day, Mumbai managed to add 37 to their overnight total of 262 for seven before being bundled out.
Mumbai 1st innings (O/N: 262/7): D Kulkarni c Tiwary b Saxena 37, R Powar b Shukla 17,
K Waingankar c Pratap Singh b Saxena 4, A Salvi 0 not out
Extras: (LB3, W1, NB4) 8
Total: (all out; 105.1 overs) 297
FoW: 8-293, 9-297, 10-297
Bowling: Shami Ahmed 26-9-76-0 (1W), V Pratap Singh 25-9-66-1 (1NB), L Shukla 24.1-10-38-5 (3NB), I Saxena 29-5-105-4, A Jhunjhunwala 1-0-9-0
Bengal 1st innings: RB Banerjee run out 9, Arindam Das 98 not out, W Porel c Shah b Kulkarni 2, M Tiwary c Salvi b Chavan 39, WP Saha c Pawar b Powar 0, S Das c Jaffer b Chavan 19, A Jhunjhunwala c Shah b Salvi 10, LR Shukla lbw b Chavan 2, V Pratap Singh c & b Chavan 2, Shami Ahmed b Waingankar 2, I Saxena lbw b Waingankar 0
Extras: (B 4, LB4, W8, NB2) 18
Total (all out; 65.4 overs) 201
FoW: 1-16, 2-20, 3-92, 4-93, 5-132, 6-150, 7-153, 8-168, 9-193, 10-201
Bowling: D Kulkarni 15-1-57-1 (2W), A Salvi 15-5-29-1 (1W), K Waingankar 9.4-4-16-2, A Nayar 2-1-6-0 (1W), A Chavan 19-4-61-4, R Powar 4-0-16-1 (2NB), K Pawar 1-0-8-0
Mumbai 2nd innings: W Jaffer 4 batting, K Pawar 1 batting
Extras: (B1) 1
Total: (0 wickets; 3 overs) 6
Bowling: V Pratap Singh 1-0-2-0, L Shukla 1-0-2-0, I Saxena 1-0-1-0