Ranji trophy: Dhawal Kulkarni snaps up four, Mumbai dismiss Saurashtra cheaply

Medium pacer Dhawal Kulkarni spearheaded the Mumbai attack superbly to snap up four wickets and help the hosts bundle out Saurashtra for a meagre first innings total of 142 on day one of the five-day Ranji Trophy final at the Wankhede Stadium here today.

The 24-year-old right-arm pace bowler used the conditions well to pick up 4 for 24 in 21.3 overs bowled in four spells after Saurashtra were asked to bat first on a seam-friendly track by Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar.

Kulkarni, who grabbed five wickets in the semi-final against Services at Delhi, and rookie left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar had Saurashtra on the ropes at 51 for five before lunch with the medium pacer picking up three of those wickets.

The visitors recovered a bit through a 64-run stand between top-scorer Arpit Vasavada, who made 55 with nine fours, and Kamlesh Makwana (26).

But once these two batsmen fell to Abhishek Nayar in successive overs close to tea break, the Saurashtra innings went into a slump once again before they were dismissed for 142 with Kulkarni dismissing the last man Sidharth Trivedi for his fourth wicket.

Nayar and Dabholkar gave good support to Kulkarni by bagging two wickets apiece, Agarkar secured one while Jaydev Unadkat was run out foolishly.

Apart from Vasavada, who batted for 210 minutes and faced 146 balls, Sitanshu Kotak (14), Makwana and Unadkat (22) reached double figures as the Saurashtra batsmen showed lack of application and skill on a bowler-friendly track.

In reply, 39-time title winners Mumbai scored 19 for no loss in 8 overs. Openers Wasim Jaffer (11 in 30 balls) and Kaustubh Pawar (4 in 20 balls) batted for 39-minutes and were at the crease with the hosts still 129 runs behind.

Earlier in the morning session, Saurashtra batsmen struggled on a pitch that afforded seam movement and soon lost half their side cheaply.

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