Sachin Tendulkar batted for nine minutes, faced seven deliveries and scored five runs, but the maestro’s flop show didn’t affect Mumbai all that much on Day One of their Ranji Trophy opener against Haryana in Lahli on Sunday.
At the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Stadium, Mohit Sharma got the batting great to play one onto the stumps in the 21st over of the innings. Tendulkar was attempting to leave the ball alone, but the red cherry brushed the back of his arm before disturbing the furniture. At 38/3, the holders were in spot of bother. But thanks to their bowlers, they were chasing a paltry score.
Abhishek Nayar (4/38) and Javed Khan (2/12) had wreaked havoc in the morning as Haryana were bowled out for just 134 in less than 36 overs on a green top. Later, Nayar (24) and Ajinkya Rahane (44 batting) arrested the slide with a 56-run stand after Tendulkar’s fall. Nayar was dismissed at the stroke of stumps, but Mumbai went into the hut with the scoreboard reading 100/4, only 34 in the red.
Mumbai skipper Zaheer Khan had no hesitation in asking the hosts to bat. And in the presence of Kapil Dev’s Haryana side of 1991 — the one that beat a tearful Dilip Vengsarkar’s Mumbai by two runs — the 40-time champions put up some show.
If Zaheer was testing the batsmen with pace and bounce, then Dhaval Kulkarni was swinging it at will. Nayar was as effective as ever and young Khan bowled a nagging line.
Haryana lost opener Nitin Saini to a run-out, but thereon it was the pacers’ show. Zaheer had No.
3 batsman Sunny Singh caught by Hiken Shah in the cordon. A few minutes later, Rahul Dewan fell in similar fashion, with Kulkarni being the beneficiary. Yesteryear superstar Ajay Jadeja, who is the captain and coach of Haryana, steadied the ship with a cultured 14, but Khan had him caught, again by Shah. The 42-year-old Jadeja’s first Ranji innings since 2006 ended prematurely.
At 44/4, Haryana were down and out. Nayar only made it worse. He castled Sachin Rana, Joginder Sharma and Jayant Yadav to reduce the hosts to 71/8 in the 20th over. And if not for Mohit Sharma’s entertaining 49, in which he smashed nine boundaries, Haryana would ended up with less than 100 on the board.