For the second successive day, Mumbai held supremacy over an inexperienced Hyderabad outfit. At the Bandra-Kurla Complex, bowlers had a relatively field day but not before the willow wielders held centre-stage.
Seamer Dhawal Kulkarni returned to his wicket-taking abilities after failing to pick up even one in Rajkot, breaking the top-order in quick succession to put Mumbai in a position from where they can look for an innings victory, and take a maximum of six points and surge ahead of Saurashtra.
Mumbai declared at a healthy 602 for six shortly before tea. The visitors were 82 for two at stumps, facing an uphill task of first avoiding the follow-on mark, which is still 371 away. Resuming at 366 for one, Ajinkya Rahane, overnight 137, perished to an outgoing delivery off medium-pacer Ashwin Yadav off the first ball he faced and in the day’s first over.
M. P. Arjun, Hyderabad’s best bowler, did well to exploit the initial moisture and had the batsmen playing the waiting game. Wasim Jaffer, who treated loose deliveries with disdain, was watchful otherwise.
The 23-year-old right-arm medium-pacer Arjun took two more wickets to finish with four for 99 but they were largely due to Rohit Sharma and Ramesh Powar's largesse, in their attempts to speed up the scoring rate. That was part of Hyderabad’s game plan — spreading the field for batsmen to err.
Agarkar was particularly aggressive, making an unbeaten 77. Five sixes and three fours rained from his blade.