Sachin disappoints but Mumbai in control

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 27, 2013 13:37 hrs

Lahli: The hype was around Sachin Tendulkar before young Mohit Sharma cashed in on the moment with an all-round effort, which, however, could not prevent Mumbai from having their nose slightly ahead at the end of the first day of their much-anticipated Ranji Trophy opener against Haryana on Sunday.

At stumps, Mumbai were 100/4, having bowled out Haryana for a paltry 134 after skipper Zaheer Khan opted to field.

Mumbai trailed by 34 runs with three full days to go. The retiring Tendulkar gave the inhabitant of this village a sudden sense of anti-climax as he failed to let his bat do the talking after being bowled for a mere five runs by the 25-year-old Mohit, in what is being seen as the biggest of all matches in Ranji's opening fixtures.

Having top-scored with a invaluable 49 in Haryana's pathetic first-innings display, Mohit emerged as the day's one of the two most impressive performers, the other being Mumbai's Abhishek Nayar, who picked up four wickets.

Ajinkya Rahane and nightwatchman Dhawal Kulkarni were batting on 44 and 1, respectively, when the stumps were drawn.

40-time defending champions Mumbai had earlier kicked off their campaign in earnest as they bundled out Haryana at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium.

With the red cherry, Nayar was the star of the day for Mumbai as he bowled his accurate medium pacers to good effect, returning impressive figures of four for 38. Nayar contributed with 24 with the bat on a wicket that seemed to have helped the seamers quite a bit.

The cynosure of all eyes, Tendulkar, who is playing in his last Ranji match having already announced retired from international cricket, stunned the packed crowd when he was bowled by Mohit.

It was a good length delivery that pitched on off and nipped back, but the bounce was what did Tendulkar in as he leaned forward to defend before the ball went through touching his elbow on the way.

For the young Mohit, he would never like to forget this moment as the pacer got the wicket of modern cricket's greatest batsman amid huge expectations from the veteran.

The characteristic straight driven four to get off the mark from Tendulkar did excite the crowd, but the joy was short-lived.

All of a sudden the crowd went silent and it was back to a normal competitive cricket match in the country's premier domestic tournament.

Mumbai though, went about the task in a quiet manner with Rahane and Nayar stitching together a handy 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket before the left-hander was sent back by Mohit.

On a wicket that saw 15 wickets tumble on the opening day itself, Rahane showed composure during his stay at the crease, finding the fence eight times in between running the ones and twos.

On their part, the Haryana bowlers especially Mohit, did well to give Mumbai a bit of a jolt initially after being bowled out for a small total themselves.

The hosts' innings started on an inauspicious note with wicketkeeper-batsman Nitin Saini going back to dressing room after a run-out.

Mumbai chipped in with Haryana's wickets at regular intervals with Nayar doing the bulk of damage. The most sought-after wicket, if not the most important, was however snared by medium pacer Javed Khan when he dismissed comeback man and former India opener Ajay Jadeja.

Zaheer, seeking to return to the Indian team, bowled 10 overs for the lone wicket of Sunny Singh.

Brief scores:

Haryana 1st innings: 134 all out in 35.3 overs (Mohit Sharma 49, Abhimanyu Khod 27; Abhishek Nayar 4/38).

Mumbai 1st innings: 100 for four in 44 overs (Ajinkya Rahane batting 44; Mohit Sharma 2/27).

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