Mumbai skipper Wasim Jaffer was impressed with 25-year-old Orissa batsman Natraj Behera. It was because of him that the 40-time Ranji Trophy champions were denied their fourth win of the season and had to settle for three points and slide to second position in the points table.
After slamming 130 in the first innings, Behera cracked an unbeaten 127 (218b, 17x4, 3x6) in the second on Tuesday to ensure Orissa deny Mumbai full points.
With this result, Mumbai (23 points) have been overtaken by Karnataka (26 points), who defeated Punjab, as table toppers.
Mumbai bowlers struggled to bowl a disciplined line. To add to their woes, their fielding was disappointing. First, Hiken Shah grassed skipper Niranjan Behera off Shardul Thakur. Later, Jaffer floored Natraj, who edged leg-spinner Pravin Tambe when he was on 61.
Mumbai managed to get only three wickets during the whole day before the umpires called off play with Orissa on 356/5.
Netravalkar in squad
Left-arm seamer Saurav Netravalkar has been named in Mumbai’s squad for their next match against Karnataka in Bangalore from December 22.
Squad: W Jaffer (C), A Tare (wk), K Pawar, H Shah, S Yadav, B Sandhu (Jr.), V Dabholkar, S Lad, J Khan, S Thakur, M Rao, P Tambe, S Kerkar, S Netrawalkar, S Doraiswamy
Mumbai 501/9 decl drew with Orissa 256 & 365/5 (N Behera 127)
Points: Mumbai 3, Odisha 1.