April 28, 2003

Bahatule bowls Mumbai into Ranji final

Staff Reporter

Mumbai stormed into the Ranji Trophy Elite Group final on Sunday after yet another sorry capitulation by Baroda's batsmen. The 34-time Ranji champions bundled out their opponents for 122 in their second essay to complete an innings and 138 runs victory at the Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Ground, Vadodara.

Baroda, who began the day needing another 244 runs to make Mumbai bat again, lost their second wicket after the addition of just 20 runs to the overnight total of 16 for 1. Two more wickets quickly followed as the hosts were reduced to 40 for four.

Then came the only meaningful partnership of the day with Rakesh Solanki (38) and Ajit Bhoite (19) putting on 50 runs for the fifth wicket. But once Bhoite fell to leg-spinner Sairaj Bahatule, the steady procession of batsmen resumed. Bahatule went on to claim a further four wickets, including that of last man Zaheer Khan, to end up with flattering figures of 5 for 21 in 13.2 overs.

Mumbai now await the winner of the other semi-final between Tamil Nadu and Delhi, being played at Feroz Shah Kotla.