Ranji Trophy: Deshpande, Thakur shine as Mumbai take opening day honours |


New Delhi: Performing effectively, Tushar Deshpande (3/24) and Shardul Thakur (2/48) Shined and put Mumbai in a strong position after Tamil Nadu's disappointing performance on the first day. ranji trophy Semi-finals in Mumbai on Saturday.
Tamil Nadu captain B Sai Kishore's decision to bat first backfired, as the visiting team was bundled out for just 146 runs in the first innings. Deshpande and Thakur posed significant challenges for the batsmen at the BKC ground.
Although Tamil Nadu managed to strike twice with the ball, Mumbai reduced a large part of the first innings deficit, reaching 45/2 at stumps, trailing by 101 runs.
Musheer Khan (24 not out) and nightwatchman Mohit Awasthi (1) were at the crease, while Mumbai lost the wickets of openers Prithvi Shaw (5) and Bhupen Lalwani (15).
Shaw had to get out early on the ball of Kuldeep Sen and Sai Kishore gave the second success to Tamil Nadu by taking the wicket of Lalwani. Despite these setbacks, Mumbai maintained its dominance in the match.
On a track where there was movement from the surface as well as turn for the spinners, Mumbai proved to be the better team as their bowlers got more support and their batsmen did not find it as difficult to score runs as the visiting team.
Tamil Nadu, stunned by a poor start in their first semi-final in seven years, could not muster the courage to counter-attack despite brilliant performances from Vijay Shankar (44) and Washington Sundar (43) and collapsed soon after tea.
The horror began when Thakur trapped B Sai Sudarshan (0) LBW on the fourth ball of the match.
It did not take long for the Mumbai bowlers to dominate the Tamil Nadu team in the first hour.
Mumbai bowlers took advantage of the initial moisture with the new ball and Awasthi had TN's leading run-maker N Jagadeesan (4) caught by Musheer at short leg.
Deshpande, who came as the first change, remained unstoppable to the Tamil Nadu batsmen throughout the innings.
“We wanted to bowl because the wicket has enough space for the fast bowlers. We bowled in the right channel, it was important to bowl in the right area on this pitch,” Deshpande told the media after the day's play.
“Yes, absolutely,” Deshpande said, adding that TN's decision to bat was surprising.
“We can all see that there is enough support for the fast bowlers on the pitch and there is a lot of support for the fast bowlers in the session before the late shade,” he said.
Pradosh Ranjan Paul (8)'s bat twisted in his hands as he hit one straight to Despande, who took a good return catch for the third wicket.
It was a brave call for captain Sai Kishore (1) to put himself ahead of the trusted Baba Inderjit, but it did not work.
Sai Kishore's footwork was all over the place as Deshpande swung the ball back inside, past mid-stump as Tamil Nadu slipped to 17/4.
Tamil Nadu's revival hopes suffered a blow when Indrajith (11) was caught at short midwicket. Tanush Kotian (2/10) Surprised the audience by taking a sharp diving catch in front of him.
Shankar and Sundar put up a good fight on both sides during the lunch break but the pitch did not provide any help to the Mumbai bowlers.
Shankar, who started well with a flurry of fours, was constantly tested outside the off-stump by Deshpande, who kept taking the ball away from the right-hander and maintained a dangerous line and length.
Deshpande's hard work resulted in success for Thakur, who had Shankar caught at second slip by Shams Mulani after scoring 44 runs in 109 balls with the help of eight fours.
After showing little interest in scoring runs, Shankar's departure forced Sundar to step up.
While he was mostly solid in defence, Sundar also got lucky twice. Shreyas Iyer left a difficult chance at 11 in the slip cordon on an outside ball from Shardul and when he reached 37, Musheer slipped his catch at cover.
Mohammad Mohammad finally scored 22 runs in one over by hitting three consecutive fours off Thakur's ball, which led to a big increase in the total score of the visiting team.
Putting his team on the back foot, Shankar said that Tamil Nadu will have to fight it out.
“Our strength is two spinners who have taken 40-plus wickets. If we had batted yesterday things would have been different, they could have come into the game on the fifth day,” Vijay said.
“The game is still open, they are just 45/2 and still need 100 runs (or more), anything can happen from here.”
“One innings will not define an individual, tomorrow (second day) we have to fight for the team and if we can get a good score on the board (in the second innings), things can be completely different.” He said.
Brief Score: Tamil Nadu 146 runs in 64.1 overs (Vijay Shankar 44, Washington Sundar 43; Shardul Thakur 2/48, Tushar Deshpande 3/24, Tanush Kotian 2/10) lead Mumbai 45/2 in 17 overs (Musheer Khan 24*; Kuldeep Sen) 1) /25, Saike Kishore 1/3) by 101 runs.
(With inputs from PTI)

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