Ranji Trophy 2013-14: Zaheer Khan strikes early as wickets continue to tumble at Lahli

Zaheer Khan (above) claimed the wicket of Haryana opener Nitin Saini © PTI (File photo)

Oct 28, 2013

Haryana lost an early wicket in form of opener Nitin Saini as they reached 22 for one in their second essay on the second day of the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 opening match against Mumbai, at Lahli on Monday.

Mumbai pacer Zaheer Khan got rid of the Haryana opener, having him caught by wicketkeeper Aditya Tare for nine.

Haryana’s overall lead is now of 20 runs against the title defenders.

This was after Joginder Sharma’s five-wicket haul helped Haryana bowl out Mumbai for 136. Mumbai narrowly managed to take two-run lead against the hosts.

Resuming the day on 100 for four, Mumbai looked well placed to go past Haryana’s score of 134. However, the medium-pacer made good use of the seam-friendly conditions to trouble the Mumbai batsman and take four wickets early on Day Two.

Joginder’s exploits came soon after Ajinkya Rahane reached his 24th First-Class half-century.

On Day One, Sachin Tendulkar gave the inhabitant of this village a sudden sense of anti-climax as he failed to let his bat do the talking after being bowled for a mere five runs by the 25-year-old Mohit, in what is being seen as the biggest of all matches in Ranji’s opening fixtures.

Having top-scored with a invaluable 49 in Haryana’s pathetic first-innings display, Mohit emerged as the day’s one of the two most impressive performers, the other being Mumbai’s Abhishek Nayar, who picked up four wickets.

40-time defending champions Mumbai had earlier kicked off their campaign in earnest as they bundled out Haryana at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium.

With the red cherry, Nayar was the star of the day for Mumbai as he bowled his accurate medium pacers to good effect, returning impressive figures of four for 38. Nayar contributed with 24 with the bat on a wicket that seemed to have helped the seamers quite a bit.

The cynosure of all eyes, Tendulkar, who is playing in his last Ranji match having already announced retired from international cricket, stunned the packed crowd when he was bowled by Mohit.

It was a good length delivery that pitched on off and nipped back, but the bounce was what did Tendulkar in as he leaned forward to defend before the ball went through touching his elbow on the way.

(with inputs from PTI)

Brief scores:

Haryana 134 and 22 for 1 (Zaheer Khan 1 for 18) lead Mumbai 136 (Ajinkya Rahane 51; Joginder Sharma 5 for 16) by 20 runs.