Rest of India romp home to massive win

Mumbai capitulated meekly and handed Rest of India a massive 290-run victory on the fourth day of the Irani Cup cricket tie.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Mohali:Mumbai capitulated meekly and handed Rest of India a massive 290-run victory on the fourth day of the Irani Cup cricket tie at the PCA stadium here today. It was most unimpressive stuff from the Ranji Trophy winners as they, chasing a fourth innings target of 495 with two full days' play left, were bundled out for 204 in the last session of the penultimate day. Herculean task It was clear that after conceding a 116-run lead in the first innings and the Rest ran up a huge score in their second knock, the task was too Herculean for Mumbai to lift themselves up psychologically. In fact, their mind was already set on the three-day tour opener against the visiting Australians. And the way wickets kept falling, their thoughts seemed to revolve around catching the earliest flight out of town. Resuming at 363 for 9, Rest's second innings lasted only an over. They lost their last wicket after the addition of 15 more runs but not before Zaheer Khan converted his overnight 46 into a useful half century as he clubbed Robin Morris for two more huge sixes. Mumbai falter The Mumbai chase began on a sorry note when Wasim Jaffer (14) failed for the second time and was leg before to Shib Shankar Paul in the 10th over. Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik then struck twice in the space of seven balls as he had Bhavin Thakkar (13) and Vinayak Mane (41) caught at forward short leg. Amol Muzumdar (11) was another disappointment as he became Zaheer Khan's victim for the second time while Vinod Kambli, who was injured while batting in the first innings and did not take the field when Rest batted, met fire with fire in his hour long stay and hit seven fours for his 36. But his strokes were always the last flickers of a dying lamp and Kambli (36) was, as it had been him so many times before, bowled around his legs by Joginder Sharma. Ramesh Powar (23) and Sairaj Bahutule (39 not out) were the only batsmen to show some keenness to stay at the wicket but it was only a matter of time after Kambli's dismissal. The win, that came 41 minutes after tea, was Rest's 17th. Batting concerns Mumbai coach Chandrakanth Pandit said the team's batting failure was a matter of concern and the team has to look beyond the current crop. "We have to work on our batting. It was the third season on the trot that we have seen such a debacle," he said. "Unfortunately our bench strengh is not good and we have to look for some fresh talent from the club circuit." He said the players let the match slip out of their hands on the first day. "The game drifted away from us when we had them 198 for six but failed to take advantage of it," he said. The absence of Munaf Patel, who fractured his bowling shoulder on the first day and played no further part in the match, also made a difference, Pandit said. (PTI)

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