Saurashtra left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja snared five wickets to leave Mumbai teetering at 249 for eight on the opening day of their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy game here on Tuesday.
Had Sarfaraz Khan yet again not rescued Mumbai after they suffered a top-order collapse with his 78, the 41-time Ranji champions would have been in more trouble in what is a must-win game for them.
Jadeja (5/90) rattled their top-order and among his wickets were Jay Bista (43), Bhupen Lalwani (25), Siddesh Lad (13) and rival skipper Aditya Tare (10).
Opting to bat at the SCA Stadium in Khandheri, Mumbai openers Bista and Lalwani failed to convert their starts. The duo put up 62 for the first wicket before Bista was trapped in front of the wicket by Jadeja.
Senior-pro Suryakumar Yadav fell for a first-ball duck after being trapped in front of the wicket by Prerak Mankad as Mumbai were in a spot of bother at 63 for two. Soon it became 74 for three after Jadeja removed Lalwani, who gave a sitter at mid-off.
Crisis man Siddhesh Lad (13) had on several occasions in the past took his team out of the rubble, but failed to do it on Tuesday. He became Jadeja’s third victim after the left-arm spinner trapped him in front of the wicket to leave the visitors tottering at 88 for four.
Then Sarfaraz (78 off 126 balls; 9×4 and 2×6) and all-rounder Shams Mulani (59 not out off 171 balls; 6×4; 2×6) steadied the ship with their 109-run stand for the fifth wicket. They ensured that the domestic giants took lunch and tea without losing any further wickets.
Sarfaraz, who took his team out of trouble in the last two matches, again played a matured and responsible knock.
However, after doing all the hard work, he fell on 78 after being cleaned up by Kamlesh Makwana. Sarfaraz’s unbeaten run thus ended in first-class cricket after amassing 605 runs from three innings.
Aditya Tare (10) was dismissed cheaply as he became Jadeja’s fourth victim. Mulani held one end and completed his fourth fifty after tapping Jadeja for a single.
However, Mulani ran out of partners with Vinayak Bhoir (21) and Shashank Attarde (0) also falling in quick succession as Saurashtra took honours on day 1.
For the hosts, Jadeja was ably supported by Mankad (2/30) and Makwana (1/46).
Earlier, the Saurashtra Cricket Association felicitated senior speedster Jaydev Unadkat for taking 300 scalps in first-class cricket. Unadkat, however, missed the game due to niggle.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 249/8 (Sarfaraz Khan 78; Shams Mulani 59 batting; D Jadeja 5-90) v/s Saurashtra
At Shimoga: Karnataka 233/3 (R Samarth 105; Siddharth KV 62 not out; Gourav Yadav 1-29) v/s Madhya Pradesh.
At Baroda: Baroda 174 all out (A Sheth 53, Anureet Singh 25; M Mohammed 7-68) v/s Tamil Nadu 135/0 (Abhinav Mukund 73 not out, L Suryapprakash 61 not out). TN trailed by 39 runs.
At New Delhi (Karnail Singh Stadium): Himachal Pradesh 283 (Nikhil Gangta 72, R Dhawan 70; Pradeep Poojar 4-62) v/s Railways.