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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ranji final: Vasavada rallies Saurashtra after Kulkarni wreaks havoc

Ranji final: Vasavada rallies Saurashtra after Kulkarni wreaks havoc

Last updated on: February 24, 2016 20:19 IST

Dhawal Kulkarni is congratulated by his Mumbai teammates after claiming four wickets on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra

IMAGE: Dhawal Kulkarni is congratulated by his Mumbai teammates after claiming a wicket on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra, in Pune, on Wednesday.  He ended the day with four wickets. Photograph: PTI

Comeback man Dhawal Kulkarni wreaked havoc with the new ball to hand Mumbai the initial edge in their quest for a 41st Ranji Trophy title by reducing Saurashtra to 192 for eight in the first innings, on the opening day of the final, in Pune, on Wednesday.

Back in the side after missing the semi-final due to a groin strain, Kulkarni utilised the green track on offer to perfection after Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare won the toss and invited Saurashtra to bat.

- Scorecard

Kulkarni was spot on with his line and length and ripped through Saurashtra's top-order to end the day with with figures of four for 30. His accounted for the vital wickets of opener Avi Barot, Cheteshwar Pujara, Arpit Vasavada and skipper Jaydev Shah.

He was ably supported by his new ball partner Shardul Thakur (2-59), Abhishek Nayar (1-42) and Balwinder Sandhu (1-41).

He produced an impressive opening spell as Mumbai reduced Saurashtra to 108 for seven at one stage.

Had Vasavada and debutant Prerak Mankad not offered stubborn resistance, it could have been an embarrassing scorecard for Saurashtra at the end of day's play during which they played 84.4 overs.

Vasavada (77) played a patient knock and held one end together during his 214-ball stay at the crease, which included just six boundaries, even as the wickets kept tumbling at the other end.

Together with Mankad (55 not out off 119 balls), he stitched 84 runs for the eighth wicket to provide some respectability to Saurashtra's total.

However, Vasavada was the day's last wicket to fall when he became Kulkarni's fourth victim.

For the record, Saurashtra have never beaten Mumbai in 53 previous attempts.

This is the first time both sides are playing at a neutral venue.

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