Pacemen run riot as match hangs in balance
by Jinu Sabastian
DateLine: 12th January 2010
The merchants of pace from both the sides made full use of the lively wicket dished out to them as they showed that the willow-wielders from the sides were ill-equipped to handle the moving ball. After being bowled out for a modest 233, the Mumbai pacemen lead by Avishkar Salvi blew away the host's batsmen to leave the home team and the vociferous home crowd stunned. Karnataka in their second innings were skittled out for a paltry 130 thus the visitors taking a substantial lead of 103 runs.
If the Mumbai batsmen thought that the pitch had died down so that the batsmen could build upon the lead they were very much wrong as Karnataka on the back of their new pace sensation Abhimanyu Mithun. The young right arm medium pacer ripped apart the top and the middle order leaving 51 for 5 in 17.4 overs before Nayar (32 batting, 103 balls, 3x4) and Kulkarni (35 batting, 60 balls, 8x4) stemmed the rot. At draw of stumps, Mumbai were 108 for five, leading by 211 runs, with five wickets remaining.
Resuming at their overnight 15 for one, Karnataka lost wickets in a heap as an accurate Salvi who ended with five wickets were literally unplayable. Salvi did the demolition job for Mumbai as he claimed five cheap wickets to dismiss Karnataka for 103. Only KB Pawan made a patient 33 in 85 balls.
In their second innings Mumbai lost Wasim Jaffer (8, 7 balls, 2x4), Ajinkya Rahane (4, 2 balls, 1x4), Omkar Khanvilkar (0, 1 ball) during an hostile spell from Mithun. More trouble was coming in Mumbai's way when Kukreja (13, 36 balls, 1x4) was caught at short-leg by Ganesh Satish off Vinay Kumar, and Vinayak Sawant (10, 19 balls, 2x4) fell to a hostile short ball from Mithun.
Finally Mumbai found two saviours in Nayar and Kulkarni who first stabilised the innings and then pushed the lead ahead.