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The Hindu
The Hindu
M.R. Praveen Chandran

Mohit triggers a spectacular Kerala collapse as Mumbai takes control

Mumbai pacer Rohit Avasthi took five wickets for nine runs off 17 deliveries to trigger a Kerala collapse

The Malaise that befell Kerala this season haunted it again as the host collapsed spectacularly against Mumbai on the second day of the Ranji Trophy cricket match at the St.Xavier’s College ground here on Saturday.

The inevitability entered the game just 20 minutes before tea when Kerala was cruising at 221 for four. Medium pacer Mohit Avasthi in a dream spell took five wickets for nine runs off 17 deliveries as Kerala crumbled to 244 all out, giving the visitor a narrow lead of seven runs. At stumps, Mumbai openers Jay Bista (59 batting) and Bhupen Lalwani (41 batting) hammered home the advantage by adding 105 runs for the first wicket.

Mohit didn’t bowl at terrorising pace but operated with control and confused batters with deliveries that either straightened or cut back after hitting the seam. The slide started when a tentative Vishnu Vinod was pinned down by a delivery which straightened. Shreyas Gopal (12) poked at a delivery which left him while Jalaj Saxena (0) was nailed by one which cut back. Mohit was on a hat-trick but Basil Thampi (1) averted it only to fall leg before to the bowler in the next over. Mohit wrapped up the innings when he had Vishweshwar Suresh edging a catch to Bista in the first slip. In between, Tanush Kotian won an lbw decision against Sachin Baby (65).

There wasn’t any inkling of the things to come when Kerala openers Rohan Kunnammal (56) and Krishna Prasad (21) played positively in the morning to add 46 runs for the first wicket. However, a two-wicket over from Mohit gave Mumbai the lift but Sachin Baby and Rohan settled down to add 63 runs for the third wicket. Rohan tempered his aggression and played crisply on the onside until Dube breached his defence with a delivery which nipped back.

Sanju V.Samson (38) and Sachin Baby (65) batted fluently to add 61 runs for the fourth wicket. Sanju’s aggressive intent against Shams Mulani ended in a regulation catch to Dube at long on. Vishnu Vinod swept a few boundaries off Mulani and added 51 runs for the fifth wicket with Baby. Then Mohit came for a new spell before tea and wreaked havoc on Kerala batting.

The scores:

Mumbai – Ist innings: 251.

Kerala –1st innings: Rohan S. Kunnammal b Dube 56, Krishna Prasad c Pawar b Mohit 21, Rohan Prem c Pawar b Mohit 0, Sachin Baby lbw Tanush 65, Sanju V.Samson c Dube b Mulani 38, Vishnu Vinod 1bw Mohit 29, Shreyas Gopal c Pawar b Mohit 12, Jalaj Saxena 1bw Mohit 0, M.D. Nidheesh not out 6, Basil Thampi lbw Mohit 1, Vishweshwar Suresh c Bista b Mohit 4; Extras (b-4, lb-6, nb-2): 12; Total (in 55.2 overs): 244.

Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-46, 3-109, 4-170, 5-221, 6-233, 7-233, 8-233, 9-234

Mumbai bowling: Kulkarni 8-0-44-0, Mohit 15.2-3-57-7, Royston 7-0-34-0, Mulani 16-1-67-1, Dube: 6-0-22-1, Tanush 3-0-10-1.

Mumbai – 2nd innings: Jay Bista batting 59, Bhupen Lalwani 41 batting; Extras (lb-4, nb-1): 5; Total (for no loss in 26 overs): 105.

Kerala bowling: Thampi 3-0-16-0, Jalaj 9-1-29-0, Nidheesh 6-0-22-0, Shreyas 7-0-21-0, Suresh 1-0-13-0.

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