Gujarat ahead in Mumbai's do-or-die game

Wasim JafferThe worries in the Mumbai dressing room donít look like subsiding at the turn of the year and skipper Wasim Jafferís worst fears were haunting him again on Monday.

The worries in the Mumbai dressing room don't look like subsiding at the turn of the year and skipper Wasim Jaffer's worst fears were haunting him again on Monday. It was a story similar to Bangalore last week, although this time at a different venue where Mumbai's inexperienced batting line-up failed to adapt to the necessity of occupying the crease.

In their do-or-die game pursuing a spot in the knockouts, Mumbai were bundled out for a paltry total of 154 as the Gujarat bowlers rattled past their defences.

It was not only the absence of temperament which led to Mumbai's top-order collapsing in a mere two sessions, but batsmen's shot selections too were a cause of headache for their captain.

On a hazy day at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium, Mumbai decided to bat first, hoping their batsmen would not have to face the pressure of a chase. Mumbai had come here on the back of a loss against Karnataka where the team had crumbled spectacularly while to chasing down a tough target.

It was out-of-form Kaustubh Pawar and Jaffer, who carried the responsibility of building one big stand at the top of the order, something that has eluded the champions this season.

The fog meant Mumbai had walked out an hour later than the scheduled start, but little did they know that two sessions later they'd be out on the field trying to defend a small score.

getting their man

Jaffer started strongly with two back-foot punches against Ishwar Chaudhary but the Gujarat pacer bowled one on his pads, which the veteran batsman couldn't help but edge behind to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.

Jaffer's wicket was the one which Gujarat had been baying for and they knew when the big fish had been caught in the net. Gujarat soon pounced on their opponents unleashing Jasprit Bumrah, who with his unorthodox action, was tough to handle. As his zinger zipped away it shattered one-drop Doraiswamy Subramanian's off-stump with the batsman trying to shoulder arms.

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