After ball fire, Mundhe shows bat power

Shrikant Mundhe who was lethal with the ball for Maharashtra on day one of their Ranji Trophy group B match against Tamil Nadu in Chennai was within striking distance of being his team's saviour with the bat. Mundhe's 61 in the face of some accurate and hostile Tamil Nadu bowling briefly gave rise to hopes of Maharashtra taking the first innings lead on Sunday.

However, Maharashtra, at one stage languishing at 109 for six, could manage 233 for the loss of all their wickets and were saddled with a 43-run deficit.

Earlier in the morning, it did not take Maharashtra long to end Tamil Nadu's first innings as the impressive Mundhe got Malolan Rangarajan to nick the second ball of the day to keeper Rohit Motwani.

Maharashtra captain Rohit Motwani had said it was imperative for his batsmen to bat well and put up a comprehensive score on board. However, the openers did not seem to have heeded Motwani's words as the experienced Lakshmipathy Balaji who finished with four wickets at the end of the day scalped opener Chirag Khurana who edged his delivery to Dinesh Karthik behind stumps after scoring only two runs.

Harshad Khadiwale and Sangram Atitkar who both scored half centuries in Maharashtra's previous match could not carry on in the same vein. Khadiwale was castled by Balaji for 15 and Nikhil Paradkar who took his place could only eke out two runs before Balaji induced another outside edge which Karthik pouched. Ankit Bawne, another half-centurion from the previous match could not even open his account as he was stumped off left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas.

Atitkar and Kedar Jadhav, Maharashtra's triple centurion from the previous round battled on and Jadhav seemed to continue from where he had left. Jadhav cut and drove powerfully and also sent a couple of deliveries soaring into the stands. However, Malolan Rangarajan accounted for Jadhav who tried to go for a big hit to miss, and Karthik stumped him.

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