Sachin Tendulkar failed to convert a good start as favourites Mumbai struggled to score runs on a difficult track against minnows Services in the Ranji Trophy semi-final in Delhi on Wednesday.
The 39-time champions, having electing to bat, ended the first day's play on 198 for 6.
Tendulkar made batting look easy on a pitch not exactly conducive for a Ranji Trophy semi-final, scoring 56 off 75 balls, studded with 10 boundaries and a six.
While Mumbai's 'Performer of the season' Abhishek Nayar again top-scored with 70 off 160 balls (8x4), the contrast in approach of two batsmen reflected how difficult the conditions were for an average domestic player.
There was a particular spot on the track from where the odd-ball shot up a few times, and once Tendulkar got hit on the gloves by a rising delivery from Suraj Yadav, he repeatedly scrutinized that portion of the track.
Services' military medium trundlers Suraj Yadav, Nishan Singh and Shadab Nazar bowled well within their limitations despite Tendulkar repeatedly enthralling the spectators with some lovely shots, a couple of straight drives and an on-drive in one over from Nishan standing out.
This was after he hit a cover drive, which looked more like a forward defensive push off medium pacer Nazar.
Tendulkar was initially cautious as he went into lunch on 19. However, he opened up in the post-lunch session, playing some brilliant shots square of the wicket.
Just when was getting on top of the bowling, he played a shot that brought about his downfall.
When left-arm spinner Abhishek Sinha was introduced, his first scoring stroke was a straight six, which was not timed to perfection.
The next ball was his last. He repeated it without getting to the pitch of the delivery, and Nakul Verma took one of the easiest catches at mid-on.
Along with Nayar, Tendulkar added 81 runs for the fourth wicket after Mumbai were reduced to 23 for 3 within the first hour of play.
Domestic run-machine Wasim Jaffer was adjudged caught behind off Nishan, but the batsmen appeared unhappy with the decision, while
in-form youngsters Kaustubh Pawar (3) and Hiken Shah (0) were dismissed by Yadav.
Nayar, who has one of the most peculiar batting stances, showed why he is Mumbai's 'Go-To Man' throughout the season.
At lunch, he had scored only two off 43 balls, but once Tendulkar was out, he took up the responsibility of scoring in the able company of Aditya Tare (26, 121b, 3x4), who found it difficult to get going. His innings had liberal sprinklings of singles and doubles.
The duo added 65 runs for the fifth wicket.
It was Shadab who again got Services back on track with twin blows in the 64th over. First it was Nayar who edged one to Yadav at first slip while going for a drive.
Left-hander Ankeet Chavan shuffled too much across towards off-stump and a straight delivery from Shadab clipped the leg-stump bail.
From 169 for four, Mumbai slumped to 169 for 6.
Mumbai (1st Innings):
W Jaffer c Sarabjit Singh bNishan Singh15
K Pawar lbw b Yadav 3
H Shah c Sarabjit Singh bYadav 0
S Tendulkar c Verma b Sinha 56
A Nayar c Yadav b Nazar 70
A Tare not out 26
A Chavan b Nazar 0
A Agarkar notout 17
Total: (for 6wicket, 78overs)199
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-19, 3-23, 4-104, 5-169, 6-169
Bowling: S Yadav 20-8-42-2, Nishan Singh 20-4-53-1, S Nazar 22-7-45-2, A Sinha 12-3-33-1, Yashpal Singh 4-0-18-0.