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The Hindu
The Hindu
M.R. Praveen Chandran

Ranji Trophy | Kerala batters cave in meekly to Mumbai’s Mulani

The task was arduous but Kerala batters didn’t show the required application or grittiness to put up a fight and caved in meekly to the spinners as Mumbai registered a 232-run win in the Ranji Trophy match at the St.Xavier’s College ground here on Monday.

Resuming at 24 for no loss in pursuit of 327, Kerala was bundled out for 94 off 33 overs, half-an-hour before lunch on the final day. Only captain Sanju Samson (15 not out off 51 balls) showed the patience and temperament required to bat on a spin-friendly pitch.

The Mumbai tweakers were relentless and hit the right areas from where the ball spat up. Kerala batters’ poor shot selection also contributed to their dismissals.

Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani varied his pace and length to confuse the batters and finished with figures of five for 44. Off-spinner Tanush Kotian (two for six) gave him enough support.

Veteran Dhawal Kulkarni started the slide by clean bowling Jalaj Saxena for 16. Krishna Prasad hit a tame catch to Royston Dias in the covers off Kulkarni as Mumbai made early inroads.

Rohan Kunnammel (26), had an unconvincing stay in the middle, and was defeated by the bounce when the batter pushed at a delivery from Mulani. Rohan Prem (11) went back, aiming for the cut and was halfway through the shot when the ball hastened off the pitch to disturb the stumps.

Tanush, who was introduced late, made an immediate impact when he had Sachin Baby (12) feathering a catch to Jay Bista at silly point. Shreyas Gopal (0) played back and was castled by Mulani. Vishnu Vinod’s attempt to sweep Tanush from outside the off stumps saw the ball ballooning to Rahane in the slips.

Mulani wrapped up the innings off successive balls in the 33rd over when he had Basil Thampi stumped and trapped Nidheesh in front. Vishweshwar Suresh, who split his webbing, didn’t bat in the second innings.

“We batted poorly in the first innings and paid the price. We knew it would be tough to chase such a big target on this wicket. But our batters could have done better. We need to pull up our socks. Mumbai played excellent cricket. Mohit’s spell on the second day was a game-changer. We need to learn from our mistakes,’’ said Kerala coach K. Venkataramana.

The scores:

Mumbai - 1st innings: 251

Kerala - 1st innings: 244

Mumbai - 2nd innings: 319

Kerala - 2nd innings: Rohan S. Kunnummal c Rahane b Mulani 26, Jalaj Saxena b Kulkarni 16, Krishna Prasad c Royston b Kulkarni 4, Rohan Prem b Mulani 11, Sachin Baby c Bista b Tanush 12, Sanju Samson not out 15, Vishnu Vinod c Rahane b Tanush 6, Shreyas Gopal b Mulani 0, Basil Thampi st Pawar b Mulani 4, M.D. Nidheesh lbw Mulani 0, Visheshwar A. Suresh absent hurt. Extras: 0; Total (for nine wkts. in 33 overs): 94

Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-41, 3-47, 4-62, 5-75, 6-81, 7-82, 8-94, 9-94.

Mumbai bowling: Kulkarni 8-1-32-2, Mulani 16-0-44-5, Mohit 4-0-12-0, Tanush 5-1-6-2.

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