‘Sad, but we’ll fight’


Prithvi Shaw & Co found themselves in deep trouble as Mumbai collapsed for just 163 in 52.4 overs against Goa in the first innings of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group D match at Ahmedabad on Thursday. 

Goa, who are playing their maiden first-class game against the former champions, were on 114-2 at stumps on Day One, trailing by 49 runs. 

Opting to bat at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Mumbai lost openers Shaw (9), Aakarshit Gomel (21) and No.4 Ajinkya Rahane (0) with the scoreboard reading 30-3 by the 10th over. Sarfaraz Khan, who scored a massive 275 against Saurashtra at the same stadium a few days ago, tried his best with a fighting 63, including nine fours. Off-spinner Tanush Kotian (30 off 38 balls) and one-drop Sachin Yadav (27 off 87 balls) were the only two other batsmen who made some effort to stay at the wicket.  

Fifer for Lakshya

For Goa, young pacer Lakshya Garg, 26, came up with his best figures of 6-46. Off-spinner Amit Yadav, 32, supported him well, claiming 4-47.

Sarfaraz was obviously disappointed with Mumbai’s performance. “It’s very disappointing. I felt really sad because only a few days ago we beat Ranji Trophy champions, Saurashtra. So now to struggle against a team like Goa is very sad,” Sarfaraz told mid-day. 

With wickets falling around him, Sarfaraz was compelled to go for his shots and consequently fell while attempting a sweep off Garg, only managing to sky a catch to wicketkeeper Eknath Kerkar instead. 

“Sometimes runs are not that important, it’s more important to stay at the wicket. But when I saw three, four wickets fall, I decided to go for my shots and lost my wicket. Else, I could easily have got another hundred had I played patiently,” added Sarfaraz, who was dismissed with the score reading 123-7. 

The attacking batsman however, is optimistic that Mumbai will fight back. “We [Mumbai] mare known to be fighters so we will make a strong comeback. It’s up to our bowlers to make it count. I’m confident we will bounce back in this game,” he said.     

Garg, meanwhile, was a happy man, having executed his plans against Shaw and Rahane perfectly. “I have achieved my target. Last night [Wednesday] I was visualising how I would bowl to Prithvi and Ajinkya. I was visualising in what areas I would bowl to them to try and put them under pressure, and it worked,” Garg revealed.

Bowling to a plan

“I tried to bowl dot balls to Prithvi and work on his patience. I had four dot balls and then one in-swinger which he played at and got out [caught by Darshan Misal in second slip]. While bowling to Ajinkya, my first ball was a bouncer, which he ducked. He left the second one and the third was a sharp in-swinger which he tried to leave, but it struck him on the pads and I got the big one. I will remember that dismissal for a long time,” added Garg. Surprisingly, all-rounder Shivam Dube and opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, who were not part of the playing XI against Saurashtra have been left out for this match too.

Brief scores
Mumbai 163 (Sarfaraz 63, T Kotian 30; L Garg 6-46, A Yadav 4-47) v Goa 114-2 (A Desai 51*, S Prabhudessai 40) 



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