Mumbai take control of semis
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Scorecard:Mumbai v Delhi
Player:AM Nayar, Iqbal Abdulla
Event:Ranji Trophy 2009/10

DateLine: 4th January 2010


Abhishek Nayar's 156 gave holders Mumbai firm control of their Ranji Trophy semi-final match against long-time rivals Delhi on the second day. Resuming at their overnight 329 for four Mumbai ran up to a huge total of 500 and then reduced the visitors to 85 for three at stumps. Bhatia (27) along with opener Shikhar Dhawan (36) were unbeaten at stumps when the day's play was called off.


Delhi looked down the barrel at close, trailing Mumbai by a whopping 415 runs with not many top level batsmen left. Usman Malvi, Ajit Agarkar and Avishkar Salvi accounted for the wickets of opener Mayank Tehlan (5), Aditya Jain (11) and the experienced Mithun Manhas (5) respectively to reduce Delhi to 35 for three.


The Mumbai total was built mainly around Abhishek Nayar's fine 156, made in 434 minutes, off 244 balls with the help of 12 fours and three sixes.


Agarkar, unbeaten on 57 at stumps yesterday, could add only six runs and then Ramesh Powar (16) was also prised out quite cheaply to give Delhi hopes before they were frustrated by left-hander Iqbal Abdulla who batted for more than three hours while making 69 before being out. Abdulla faced 117 balls and struck eight fours, put on 80 runs with Nayar to take the score close to the 450 mark after the two came together when Mumbai were 367 for six.


No Delhi bowlers could make much impression on the Mumbai batsmen and finally the visitors got the reward when Nayar holed out at long on. Vinayak Samant was dismissed cheaply but Abdulla and Usman Malvi ensured the score neared 500. Malvi was dismissed by Mishra who also accounted for the wicket of Abdulla to finish with four for 89. Sharma was the other impressive performer with three for 77 while Parwinder Awana (2/92) and Bhatia (1/53) also got among the wickets.


Delhi in rely lost their top order in a cluster. Tehlan edged Malvi to the slip cordon in the fourth over and then one-down Aditya Jain was trapped leg before by Agarkar. Salvi then continued the slide as he dismissed Manhas with a ball that swung in sneaked through the gap between his bat and pad to disturb the timber.


Struggling at 35 for three in the 13th over, Delhi got a lucky break when Bhatia edged Salvi low and straight to Jaffer at second slip who put it down. The Delhi skipper started playing more positively and came out with some good drives and punches to the off. At the other end, Dhawan looked in good touch and Delhi's hopes in overhauling the Mumbai total depends to a large extent on their fourth-wicket partnership.