Chavan back among wickets, puts Mumbai in command
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On eve of the game against Bengal, Mumbai left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan had a long pep-talk with captain Rohit Sharma. With Chavan struggling to take wickets, Sharma, while boosting his bowler's confidence, matter of factly added that if he didn't contribute in this game, it would be hard to cement his place in the side. Chavan delivered when it mattered. He returned figures of 4/61, as Mumbai, after being dismissed for 297, fought back to restrict Bengal to 20. At stumps, Mumbai were 6/0, an overall lead of 102 runs on a spin-friendly pitch.
Earlier, resuming on an overnight score of 263/7, Mumbai started well with Dhawal Kulkarni and Romesh Powar taking the score to 293 before Kulkarni was dismissed by Iresh Saxena for 37. The next two wickets would fall in the next five deliveries with Laxmi Ratan Shukla dismissing Powar for 17 to claim his fiver. Bengal started poorly with opener Rohan Banerjee run out in the sixth over and Writam Porel caught in the slips off Kulkarni soon after. Manoj Tiwary needed a big innings. And when on 23, he was dropped by Wasim Jaffer at slip off Chavan, it seemed luck too was with him. But the Bengal captain wasn't able to make it count. Despite hitting a six and four off Chavan, the bowler had the last laugh, having Tiwari was caught at mid-off for 39.
Mumbai continued to be ragged in the field. Wriddhuman Saha was bowled off a no-ball from Ramesh Powar and Subhomoy Das dropped by Hiken Shah in the slips on 19. But the hosts hardly rued the chances. Saha was caught at short leg, the next ball after his let off and Das was bowled by Chavan for the same score.
Meanwhile, opener Arindam Das, in his first game of the season, carried his bat, finishing unbeaten on 98. His 199 balls innings was studded with 16 fours but he ran out of partners. Bengal last five wicket could manage only 51 runs as Mumbai bowlers ran through without much problem.