Ranji semifinal: Mumbai in complete command against UP

BENGALURU: Mumbai produced an incisive bowling display to bundle out Uttar Pradesh for a paltry 180 and take the crucial first-innings lead on the third day of their Ranji Trophy semifinal on Thursday. Resuming at the overnight score of 25 for two, UP batters could add just 155 runs as Tushar Deshpande (3/34), off-spinner Tanush Kotian (3/35) and Mohit Avasthi (3/39) shared nine wickets between them for Mumbai.

Dhawal Kulkarni (1/25) also chipped in with a scalp. Skipper Prithvi Shaw made 64 off 71 balls with the help of 12 boundaries as Mumbai finished the day at 133 for one in their second innings, taking an overall lead of 346 runs. Mumbai had posted 393 in their first essay, courtesy hundreds by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Hardik Tamore. UP lost wickets regularly after resumption with the 41-time Ranji Trophy champions dominating from the start.

The first UP batter to be dismissed on the day was skipper Karan Sharma (27), who became Avasthi’s first victim. Opener Madhav Kaushik (38) and Rinku Singh (16) tried to rally the innings, but managed to forge only a 32-run stand for the fifth wicket before the former was dismissed by Kotian. After that, the UP batters made a beeline to the pavilion. Rinku, Dhruv Jorel (2) and Saurabh Kumar (0) fell in quick succession.

Kotian trapped Rinku in front of the wickets, while Awasthi accounted for the two other dismissals. Coming onto bat at no. 8, Shivam Mavi (48) showed some late resistance, but it was too little and too late. Mavi hit four boundaries and two sixes in his blazing 55-ball knock.

Deshpande then swung into action and ripped apart the tail. But the day belonged to Kotian, who broke Mavi’s resistance as UP conceded a massive 213-run first innings lead. There was more agony in store for UP as Shaw (64) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (35 not out) made an aggressive start by adding 66 runs for the opening wicket in Mumbai’s second innings.

While Shaw played in his usual aggressive style, Jaiswal played the second fiddle. After Shaw’s dismissal, Jaiswal and Armaan Jaffer (32 not out) continued to torment the UP bowlers as the Amol Mazumdar-coached side seemed to have put one foot in the final. UP used as many as six bowlers in Mumbai’s second essay but all were taken to task.