The second day's play in the Ranji Trophy semifinal at the Wankhede stadium on Wednesday saw Tamil Nadu and Mumbai share honours. Although Mumbai managed to wrap up the Tamil Nadu innings pretty soon, they too lost quick wickets. This leaves the match interestingly poised.
Resuming on 397/4, Tamil Nadu captain Robin Singh had hopes of making 600 and batting Mumbai out of the game. Hemang Badani played across the line and was trapped LBW by Santosh Saxena after adding just 10 runs to his overnight score and this did not help Tamil Nadu's cause. The southpaw had made a brilliant 162 and yet was hardly the talking point at the Wankhede Stadium. His knock was overshadowed completely by the events involving Hansie Cronje that unfolded yesterday.
Robin Singh toiled manfully at his end while a series of batsmen breezed in and out of the crease. Stumper Reuben Paul played as though it was the end of a limited overs game, carving four boundaries in his 20 ball essay at the crease that yielded as many runs. He had his stump uprooted by a Saxena yorker when he attempted one too many loose drives.
Sadagopan Mahesh played cautiously for 14 but was undone by a shooter from Ajit Agarkar. Keeping low, the ball crept under the bat and pegged the stumps back. Aashish Kapoor, wearing a maroon helmet and made up like a Caribbean cricketer, tried to hook an Agarkar bouncer. Unfortunately it takes more than a maroon helmet to make a Caribbean batsman. Shockingly late on the shot, Kapoor only managed to get the ball straight up in the air. Wicketkeeper Sameer Dighe pouched the catch and sent Kapoor on his way before he could trouble the scorers.
Robin Singh displayed a cool temperament, grafting for runs and swaying out of the way of anything short. At lunch, Robin Singh was unbeaten on 182. Thirunavukarasu Kumaran, Tamil Nadu's last man had five to his name and the visitors were 484/9. The first session on the second day clearly belonged to Mumbai.
Just after lunch Kumaran was bowled through the gate by Abey Kuruvilla. Robin Singh, high and dry on 183 not out walked off the field to hearty applause. Though Mumbai had pulled things back with some good bowling, Tamil Nadu were still on solid ground with 485 on the board.
Opening for Mumbai, skipper Sameer Dighe and Wasim Jaffer motored along well till Jaffer failed to pick an arm ball from Aashish Kapoor and was caught at slip. Dighe managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over with intermittent boundaries. Jatin Paranjpe too looked good while he was at the crease, sweeping well against the spinners. When Mahesh got a ball to straighten on him and had him caught behind, Sachin Tendulkar walked out to the middle amidst roaring applause. The little master was in cracking form. Middling the ball from the word go, Tendulkar dominated the seamers completely.
Dighe was dismissed after scoring a half century with just eight overs to go before stumps. Rajesh Pawar was sent in as nightwatchman but he did not last the duration. This brought Vinod Kambli to the crease. The two childhood friends saw Mumbai safely through to stumps at 141/4.