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The Hindu
The Hindu
M. R. Praveen Chandran

RANJI TROPHY | Tanush Kotian, Bhupen Lalwani, and Shivam Dube spare Mumbai’s blushes

The indomitable spirit of Mumbai’s cricket and some of its power and grace were on ample display on the opening day of its Ranji Trophy cricket match against Kerala. 

The contrasting styles of the gritty Tanush Kotian (56), the powerful Shivam Dube (51) and the graceful Bhupen Lalwani (50) carried Mumbai to a respectable 251 at the end of the opening day’s play at the St. Xavier’s College ground here on Friday.

As in the previous two matches, Kotian added useful runs with the lower order to prop up the innings. Shreyas Gopal relished the bouncy track and zipped in his googlies to snare four for 28. However, it was Basil Thampi’s opening burst with the new ball which put Mumbai on the backfoot.

Probably the only thing Mumbai skipper Ajinkya Rahane did right in the morning was winning the toss. He was batting after the first ball when Thampi won a favourable lbw decision to dismiss Jay Bista (0). A perfect outswinger from Thampi lured Rahane and wicketkeeper Sanju Samson gleefully accepted the catch. A golden duck, and Mumbai was zero for two.

Bhupen Lalwani’s elegant knock helped Mumbai to stage a recover after the early loss of wickets in the Ranji Trophy cricket match against Kerala at the St. Xavier’s College ground in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, January 19, 2024. (Source: Special Arrangement)

Bhupen Lalwani and Suved Parkar repaired the innings with a partnership of 41 before Vishweshwar Suresh induced an edge from the latter. Kerala bowled poorly thereafter, allowing Bhupen and Y.P. Pawar to raise 65 for the fourth wicket in quick time. But the host hit back before lunch. Vishnu Vinod took a sharp catch in the slips as Pawar drove Shreyas loosely and Bhupen was caught down the leg side by Sanju off Nidheesh.

Dube started imperiously, thumping Thampi through the covers for a boundary. After lunch, he tempered his aggression and survived a chance on 12 when Sachin Baby dropped him in the slips off Nidheesh. Dube went back to his trusted method and played the big shots against the spinners.

He lofted Shreyas for a straight six to bring up his fifty but fell soon after. The leg-spinner slanted a googly across Dube’s bat and forced him to feather a catch to Sanju.

It was Kotian’s show after that. The batter stonewalled Kerala’s hopes and with the help of the tailenders took Mumbai to a competitive total.

Kerala’s Shreyas Gopal took four for 28 to restrict Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy cricket match at the St. Xavier’s College ground in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, January 19, 2024. (Source: Special Arrangement)

The scores: Mumbai — 1st innings Jay Bista lbw b Thampi 0, Bhupen Lalwani c Sanju b Nidheesh 50, Ajinkya Rahane c Sanju b Thampi 0, Suved Parkar c Sanju b Suresh 18, P.Y. Pawar c Vishnu b Shreyas 28, Shivam Dube c Sanju b Shreyas 51, Shams Mulani c Prasad b Jalaj 8, Tanush Kotian b Shreyas 56, Mohit Avasthi b Jalaj 16, Dhawal Kulkarni c Sanju b Shreyas 8, Royston H. Dias not out 1; Extras (b-5, lb-6, nb-4): 15; Total (in 78.4 overs): 251.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-41, 4-106, 5-106, 6-151, 7-172, 8-216, 9-239.

Kerala bowling: Thampi 9-0-41-2, Nidheesh 14-0-45-1, Jalaj 28-0-80-2, Suresh 9-0-46-1, Shreyas 18.4-0-28-4.

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