Ranji Trophy 2024: Mumbai Bowlers and Batters Dominated to Extend Lead vs Vidarbha

In the latest Ranji Trophy action, Mumbai showcased their dominance against Vidarbha as bowlers led by Dhawal Kulkarni, Tanush Kotian, and Shams Mulani orchestrated a brilliant performance, restricting Vidarbha to a mere 105 runs.
Ranji Trophy 2024: Mumbai Bowlers and Batters Dominated to Extend Lead vs Vidarbha

Vidarbha 105 (Rathod 27, Kotian 3-7, Kulkarni 3-15, Mulani 3-32) is behind Mumbai 224 and 141 for 2 (Rahane 58*, Musheer 51*) by 260 runs.

It appears as though Vidarbha’s chances of taking home the Ranji Trophy for a third time are very slim. To get within one wicket of Mumbai‘s 224 on the second day, they required a dominant batting performance. They could have been able to stay in the game even with that, but they may have given up much too much ground after getting bowled out for 105.

This became more apparent when Mumbai finished the day with 260 for 2, thanks to diligent unbeaten half-centuries from Musheer Khan and Ajinkya Rahane during an uninterrupted 107-run third-wicket stand.

When play resumed on 31 for 3, Dhawal Kulkarni looked motivated. Vidarbha faced him. In his last Ranji Trophy match, the seasoned player increased his lead from two wickets the previous day by taking a third, possibly as big as Karun Nair’s wicket, when he had the highly effective Atharva Taide nicking behind with an excellent away-swinger in the same over that he almost had him leg before wicket.

The captain, Akshay Wadkar, and nightwatcher Aditya Thakare put up a brief fight to put up 40 for the fifth wicket. Mumbai had to work hard for their wicket in that phase, as fast bowler Tushar Deshpande resorted to short-ball tactics, particularly when the two displayed good technique against the seaming ball.

The breakthrough was provided by left-arm spinner Shams Mulani, who has performed admirably for Mumbai over the last two seasons. He had Wadkar jabbing at a delivery that dipped and spun away, and wicketkeeper Hardik Tamore made a fine catch, after he had first put Thakare out of his innings with an arm ball.

Offspinner Tanush Kotian entered the game at 85 for 6, quickly dispatching the lower order as Vidarbha lost all seven of their wickets in a mere 45.3 overs before lunch. Kulkarni ended up with 3 for 15, while Kotian and Mulani combined for 6 for 39.

Yash Thakur gave Vidarbha a boost when he clean bowled Prithvi Shaw with an inducker that weaved through the bat and pad. Vidarbha was behind schedule but needed early wickets to stay in the game. Mumbai was reduced to 34 for 2 with a 153 advantage when left-arm spinner Harsh Dubey had Bhupen Lalwani flicking to short midwicket.

It was during this mid-session meeting that Rahane and Musheer got together. Batting was difficult for the majority of their first hour at the crease. Rahane was outmuscled on both ends; he frequently missed opportunities to play and appeared very restless when defending, particularly against Umesh Yadav’s late reversal.

By batting well outside the crease and then taking a step further down the pitch as part of his trigger to try and meet the ball early, Musheer attempted to counteract the movement. With neither of them able to get going and the score slowing to a crawl, it wasn’t exactly entertaining to watch. After 25 overs, Mumbai was 52 for 2 at tea.

Rahane appeared to turn the corner after the intermission. In order to get into his groove, he played a stunning on-drive and then performed a great pull in front of square. Time spent at the crease helped him gain confidence as his innings went on, and runs started to flow. After hitting a classic flip against Aditya Sarvate at midwicket, he brilliantly square-driven Umesh for four to record just his second half-century of the year.

After replays showed that Rahane had gotten a thin inside edge into the pad, the DRS prevented Rahane from being declared leg before wicket (LBW) against Dubey on 38. The whole Mumbai contingent was jubilant as they concluded a day of dominance because he capitalized on this reprieve and batted calmly for the rest of the day.

Rahane has never wavered in his conviction that all it takes is one hit to change the course of events. It appears that things are getting better after a difficult whole season. With three full days left in the match, he would want, and Mumbai would want, for him to go on and reach that century and beyond to bat Vidarbha out of the match.

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