After ball fire, Mundhe shows bat power
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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.
With Maharashtra tottering at 109 for six, captain Motwani and Shrikant Mundhe came together and stitched a valuable partnership of 98 runs and took Maharashtra to the 200 run-mark. Motwani who compiled a watchful 44, fell prey to a ball that stayed low and hit his pad. Mundhe perished against Rangarajan, caught behind. Maharashtra folded up for 233 and will have an uphill task to restrict Tamil Nadu to a manageable total On Monday.
The wicket which was slow on day one, seemed to have deteriorated with the ball rearing up and also keeping very low. "It was a very difficult wicket to bat on. Scoring is quite tough on this wicket. It is important for batsmen to put away loose balls rather than trying to manufacture shots," said Mundhe. He said he found it easy to play the spinners. "I could go back and use the slowness of the wicket to my advantage. However with the ball rearing up, its going to be a very tough wicket to bat on,"he said.
Captain Motwani said that 200 would be an ideal target to chase but also indicated that his bowlers would need to deliver tomorrow. "The wicket is very unpredictable. It's breaking up and if the bowlers can manage to hit the right areas, we are in with a chance," he said.