A gruelling six-month fitness stint in France and a stint in South Africa hasn’t only left Zaheer Khan looking lean and mean. The Mumbai pacer also seems to be getting back some of his bowling swagger and picked up a five-for against Delhi in their Ranji Trophy Group A match.
During the morning session on Day Three at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, centurion Mithun Manhas (113) and the visitors were looking good to overhaul Mumbai’s first innings total. But in a dramatic spell, Zaheer ripped through their batting lineup to tie their first innings’ score.
With Delhi needing 16 runs to go past Mumbai’s total with four wickets in hand, Zaheer returned in the 91st over. He struck off the third ball, disturbing Manhas’ woodwork. Ashish Nehra was then sent back to the pavilion with the scorecard reading 310 for eight. Spinner Vishal Dabholkar sneaked through the defence of Parvinder Awana from the other end.
Zaheer then sent down a wide bouncer and conceded five runs. The scores were now level. The Mumbai captain, however, made immediate amends ending the Delhi innings off the very next ball by inducing an edge off Vikas Mishra, safely pocketed by wicket-keeper Aditya Tare.
In their second innings, Mumbai pulled away with Tare striking an unbeaten century and first innings top scorer Siddhesh Lad striking an unbeaten 67 not out after the hosts lost Kaustubh Pawar and Wasim Jaffer in quick succession. Tare, who remained unbeaten on 115, forged a strong partnership with Lad and the duo amassed 133 runs in just 27.2 overs.