Ranji Trophy: Dhawal Kulkarni rips through Saurashtra to put Mumbai in command

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Rajasthan Royals

Ranji Trophy: Dhawal Kulkarni rips through Saurashtra to put Mumbai in command

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Arun S Kaimal

02/24/2016

A four-wicket haul from pacer Dhawal Kulkarni helped Mumbai restrict Saurashtra to 192/8 at the end of day 1 in the Ranji Trophy final at Pune. An 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Arpit Vasavada and Prerak Mankad was the only bright spot for Saurashtra on the opening day.

Brief Scores: Saurashtra 192/8 in 84.4 overs (Arpit Vasavada 77(214), Prerak Mankad 55*(119), Kulkarni 4/30, Thakur 2/59) vs Mumbai

In what proved to be a repeat of the 2012/13 Ranji Trophy final, Saurashtra, who were bowled out for 148 in the opening day in 2013, lost eight wickets on day 1 of the final with Mumbai pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur running riot on the green track at Pune. Kulkarni, who took a four-wicket haul in the first innings of the final in 2013, followed the same this time around by dismantling the Saurashtra top-order with four wickets.

Earlier in the day, Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare decided to make use of the green track on offer at Pune, after winning the toss. The bowlers backed up the captain’s decision with some consistent bowling to trouble the Saurashtra batsmen. Both openers - Avi Barot and Sagar Jogiyani - were back in the pavilion within the first eight overs after Kulkarni and Thakur removed them, respectively. Cheteshwar Pujara walked in next, in a mission to steady the innings, but departed after facing 13 balls after edging one to the slips off Kulkarni.

The wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals as Saurashtra lost seven wickets for 108 runs to look down the barrel in the first innings. But Arpit Vasavada and Prerak Mankad stopped the wicket flow, and held fort by forming a 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket to frustrate Mumbai. With edges falling short of the slips, Saurashtra felt comfortable for the first time in the match but it only lasted for a while with Kulkarni removing Vasavada with the last ball of the day.

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