Haryana fight back through Joginder

Haryana fight back through Joginder

Haryana showed there was more to this Ranji Trophy match than Sachin Tendulkar’s swansong in domestic circuit by taking  a 222-run lead on the second day, leaving Mumbai on a sticky wicket.

 The star of the day was not Tendulkar, despite his dedicated following, but Joginder Sharma (5/16) and then Sunny Singh (63, 78b, 11x4) as Haryana bowled out Mumbai for 136 and finished the day at 224/9 in their second innings.

Zaheer Khan (4-59) and Vishal Dabholkar (4-54) helped Mumbai recover by taking six wickets in the last session but they have a tall task awaiting them on the third day,  
It was a much improved performance from Haryana, whose batsmen had thrown away their wickets on the green track and their bowlers had struggled with their line on Sunday. But the morning session on Monday erased the misgivings.

Joginder, who had taken one wicket on the first day, bowled an incisive spell in the morning to dismiss four Mumbai batsmen and restricted the defending champions’ lead to only two runs after Mumbai resumed the day at 100/4.

Ajinkya Rahane could add only seven runs to his overnight total of 44 when Joginder trapped him leg before and set himself up for a hat-trick when Aditya Tare edged him to second slip. But Hiken Shah prevented the hat-trick. Joginder soon packed off Shah, who poked an away-going delivery to the wicket-keeper and the rest of the Mumbai batting sank swiftly.

In a welcome development for the home crowd, Haryana forged regular partnerships to dominate the lunch and tea sessions to further hurt the egos of the 40-time champions. 

It was the second-wicket stand between Sunny and Rahul Dewan which laid the foundation of a Haryana counter-attack.  Sunny batted with flair and aggression during his innings to take the sting out of the Mumbai attack. On a heavy outfield, he regularly found gaps to keep the score ticking at a fast clip.

Dewan’s innings, in contrast, was sedate and measured. He preferred to bide his time and was content playing the second foil as Sunny took the attack to the bowlers. Their performance was appreciated by the fast gathering crowd.

Dhawal Kulkarni separated the two in the post-lunch session by clean-bowling Sunny, who missed the line to see his stumps clattered. Dewan followed shortly, after being caught behind off left-arm spinner Dabholkar. Jayant Yadav lent further stability with a well-crafted 45 before the sudden batting slump.

Harshal Patel and Ashish Hooda were holding the fort when stumps were drawn but not before some entertaining blitz. Tendulkar’s presence at mid-on evoked constant response from the crowd that chanted his name.

It went on for some time before Patel slammed Dabholkar for three sixes in an over. Haryana’s fightback has placed the match in an interesting phase with the morning session on Tuesday likely to prove decisive.

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