Mumbai v ROI, Irani Trophy, Mohali, 1st day September 22, 2004

Sriram and Parthiv lead the fightback

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Rest of India 293 for 6 (Sriram 77, Parthiv 56*) v Mumbai

Sridharan Sriram rescued Rest of India from a precarious position, after Mumbai had seized the initiative on the first day of the Irani Trophy game at Mohali. Parthiv Patel and Murali Karthik continued the revival and Rest of India finished on 293 for 6 when stumps were drawn.

Mumbai's decision to field first had an instant impact when Avishkar Salvi, the medium-pacer, removed Aakash Chopra in the seventh over of the morning, offering a return catch. But Gautam Gambhir was quickly out of the blocks, smashing seven boundaries in a breezy 39 as the score raced on to 65 in the 14th over.

That was when Robin Morris, the nippy seamer, snapped up two wickets to leave Rest of India at a dicey 74 for 3. Morris picked up both Gambhir and Dinesh Mongia, the captain, in a space of four overs.

Sriram, however, piloted the innings with a dogged knock and he received a bit of support from Venugopal Rao and Joginder Sharma. But unlike these two, who fell to Sairaj Bahutule after getting a start, Parthiv carried on to a fighting half-century and the innings was back on track. Sriram stroked seven fours in his 196-ball 77 before being dismissed by Bahutule.

Kartik joined Parthiv and the two added 95 before the day was out. The runs came in quick time as well and after the wobbly start, Rest of India were back in the contest.