Karnataka v Mumbai, Ranji semi-finals, Bangalore February 25, 2015

Tare bemoans Mumbai's day to forget

Vinay Kumar - "The cracks were a bit open in the morning itself, which is why elected to bat first. Batting fourth would be very difficult on this wicket" © PTI

As Karnataka dispersed from the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the Mumbai players sat down at Adigas, the famous south Indian eatery in the stadium premises. They were not at all in a mood to celebrate Shardul Thakur becoming the leading wicket-taker of the season. They just wanted to put a shambolic day with the bat behind them. They had been bundled out for 44, Mumbai's second-lowest total in first-class cricket.

As has been the case throughout the season, Mumbai's batting crumbled under pressure, leaving themselves with too much to do while batting fourth on a difficult wicket. This was, in fact, the seventh batting collapse of the season for Mumbai. And it was the worst of them all. The captain Aditya Tare had no qualms admitting it.

"We have had a bad day as you can see. Getting all out in 15 overs is not acceptable by any means, especially at this stage of the tournament. But yeah, we have had off days in the entire season. The best thing is how we come out of it. We have to look up to that first," Tare said.

Tare, however, was also quick to point out the umpiring howlers which he and his team-mates were at the end of. While Robin Uthappa was adjudged not out early in the day by umpire Vineet Kulkarni when he was plumb in front, the same umpire ruled Tare caught behind when the ball didn't hit anything on the way to wicketkeeper CM Gautam.

"Things haven't gone in our favour as well. Robin [Uthappa] was plumb in front, they would have been 30 for 3 and probably [we would have bowled them out for] 100-150, you never know. I wasn't out and from there, it completely changed. The momentum completely swung," Tare said. "And Mumbai have been suffering from bad decisions throughout the last two-three years. But it's part of the game, we have to accept it. But we still have four more days."

Tare's Karnataka counterpart, Vinay Kumar, was, as expected, thrilled with the effort of his boys. Vinay, who lead from the front with a six-wicket haul, admitted they hadn't expected to run through the Mumbai side.

"The cracks were a bit open in the morning itself, which is why elected to bat first. Batting fourth would be very difficult on this wicket. [After getting bowled out for 202] we tried to bowl in the right areas, we were planning to get five-six wickets, we were lucky enough to get them all out," Vinay said.

Despite being dejected, Tare stressed on the excellent work of Karnataka's pace triumvirate of Vinay, Abhimanyu Mithun and S Aravind.

"We just wanted play normally, as if we were batting in the first innings. We had no target in our mind. We knew that there are lots of cracks on the pith and obviously, it will do a bit," he said. "You can't take away credit from them. They have got three bowlers with 30-plus wickets in the season, so they have a bowling unit which is in tremendous form. You can't take away credit from them."

While Vinay was thrilled to have bowled Mumbai out for their lowest total against Karnataka, Tare found it difficult to deal with the fact that Mumbai had been bundled out for only their third sub-50 total. "That's a record I can't be proud of for sure but obviously we will look to bounce back for sure."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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