Ranji Trophy: Mumbai under the hammer against Services

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Record Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai were put under tremendous pressure by Services, who restricted the visitors to 199 for six at stumps on day one of their semifinal encounter here Wednesday.

Sachin Tendulkar (56) and Abhishek Nayar (70) were the only silver linings for Mumbai in an otherwise dismal batting performance at the Air Force ground, Palam.

Suraj Yadav (2/42) was once again the star for Services with the ball, giving his team the early breakthroughs. He was well supported by medium pacer Shadab Nazar (2/45), who took the all important wicket of Mumbai's top scorer this season, Nayar.

Electing to bat on a hazy morning, Mumbai lost both their openers in the space of an over. Yadav trapped Kaustabh Pawar (15) plumb in front of the stumps in the ninth over while Nishan Singh removed the dangerous Wasim Jaffer (3) six balls later.

Hiken Shah (0), who has been a revelation for Mumbai this season, was sent back to the pavilion without disturbing the scorers.

With Mumbai reeling at 23 for three, the stage was set for Tendulkar to bail out his team. The batting maestro didn't disappoint his fans, mostly school kids, who had flocked the ground to see the batting great in action.

Tendulkar struck 10 fours and a six in his short but fluent innings. He put on a 81-run stand with Nayar for the fourth wicket before falling victim to spinner Avishek Sinha.

Nayar added another 65 runs for the fifth wicket with Aditya Tare (26 batting) befor being dismissed.

Captain Ajit Agarkar (17 batting) and Tare were left to battle it out for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, at Rajkot, half-centuries from Shitanshu Kotak (54), Jaydev Shah (87) and Sheldon Jackson (70 batting) helped Saurashtra reach 274 for five against Punjab on the first day of the other semi-final.

Siddharth Kaul was the pick of the Punjab bowlers with figures of 64 for two.

Brief Scores:

At Rajkot: Saurashtra 274/5 in 87 overs (Shitanshu Kotak 54, Jaydev Shah 87, Sheldon Jackson 70 batting; Siddharth Kaul 2/64, Harbhajan Singh 1/59) vs Punjab

At Delhi: Mumbai 199 for six in 78 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 56, Abhishek Nayar 70; Suraj Yadav 2/42, Shadab Nazar 2/45) vs Services

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