GOA TOOK vital first innings lead against hosts Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy plate group match being played at the Usha Raje cricket grounds on Tuesday.
The MP batsmen once again failed to rise to the occasion as they allowed the visitors to take lead. It was a surprise to see the MP batsmen failing miserably against a little known Goa team. Resuming the overnight score of 28/1, the hosts lost Amit Paul at his individual score of 31. It was the beginning of the end.
At the score of 73, MP got another jolt when Devendra Bundela was back in the dressing room even before he opened his account. At 76 MP lost their skipper. He too returned to the pavilion without scoring. It was young Murtaza Ali and Mohnish Mishra who showed some grit to stay at the wicket.
Mohnish, who has good score in all the matches, showed his class to complete his brilliant 50 scored in 85 balls with 10 hits to the fence. He got good support from Bhopal guy Murtaza Ali. He showed his patience and was punishing the loose balls to the ropes without any hesitation.
Both the batsmen added 57 runs for the fifth wicket. When the score was 133, well-set Mohnish Mishra was dismissed after scoring 56 with 11 boundaries.
Local crowd expected some fire works from Naman Ojha who has been relegated to the seventh position. His bad patch continued as he failed to score in this match also. He was dismissed after scoring just four runs.
MP lost their wickets for mere 185 runs. Pande, who bowled well on day one and took six wickets, scored a useful 23 with three boundaries. It was a surprise to see his patience today as he scored 23 runs in 55 balls with three boundaries. Earlier, Murtaza Ali was unlucky to miss his half-century as he was dismissed for 49 runs with eight boundaries.
Pandey and Sudhindra had some misunderstanding in taking a single and Pandey paid the penalty as Swapnil Asnodkar’s direct hit sent Pandey packing.
The tailenders could not do much as MP’s first innings folded up at 205 conceding 18 runs lead. Robin D’Souza and Sahil Dhuri bowled well to capture three wickets each conceding 63 and 21 runs while Anil Naik took two wickets for 33 runs.
In the second innings, Goa batsmen showed some resistance and batted well after taking first innings lead.
Sanjay Pandey took the first wicket when Sagun Kamat was caught at the wicket by Naman Ojha at the team total of 20. Anand Rajan could not get his line whereas T Sudhindra bowled well to capture one wicket.
At the end of second day’s play, Goa were 67/2 with Swapnil batting at 11 and Sahil Dhuri batting at 12. The match is still open as MP need early wickets in the morning. They have the strength to chase the score as two days’ play is left.
It was surprising to see host skipper Abbas Ali not utilising left arm spinner Ashitosh Jadhav.
He should have used him in the fag end of the day to put pressure on the opponents. In spite of that, he himself bowled three overs without any success.