If Shreyas Iyer and Rohit Sharma's twin tons were the highlight of Day One, yesterday belonged to Siddhesh Lad. Lad added another half-century to his record this season in which he has already smashed 150 and 86 in five matches. His patient 89 against Uttar Pradesh helped Mumbai post 610-9 declared in the first innings of the Group 'B' Ranji Trophy tie at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.
Siddhesh Lad during his 89 against Uttar Pradesh at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Uttar Pradesh, in reply, had a slow and steady start as openers Tanmay Srivastava (batting 30) and Himanshu Asnora (batting 21) posted 51 for no loss at stumps on Day Two. Rohit could only add three runs to his overnight score of 110 as he tried to dispatch a wide delivery off pacer Ankit Rajpoot over the slip cordon, but ended up giving a simple catch to Suresh Raina at second slip in the third over of the second day.
However, the 56-run partnership between Rohit and Lad will forever be etched in their first coach Dinesh Lad's memory. Watching them from the MCA Pavilion, it was a proud moment for Lad Sr as this was the first time he was watching both his 'kids' bat together in a first-class match.
Early wickets forced new man Abhishek Nayar and Lad to play too defensively as the duo managed to score only 40 runs in 22 overs earlier in the day. Once their partnership crossed the 50-run mark, Nayar and Lad opened up a bit. The duo stitched together 90 runs for the sixth wicket when Nayar was trapped leg-before off Kuldeep Yadav. That partnership, however, helped Mumbai consolidate their grip in the first innings with the score reaching 500.
Lad then teamed up his Shardul Thakur (56 off 62 balls), who was also coached by Lad Sr, to post 49 runs for the eighth-wicket partnership. India leggie Chawla had a moment to cheer about after he managed to draw an edge from Lad's willow to Raina at slips.
"Siddhesh deserved to get a hundred. He was batting beautifully. He was out on a good delivery. The most impressive part about Siddhesh's knock was that he played a very calculative innings. Even though the score was enough on the board, he understood the team's situation well as the wicket is not very helpful for the bowlers. He likes to play shots, but he curbed his instincts which I liked the most," Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit said.
Mumbai 610-9 decl (S Iyer 137, R Sharma 113, S Lad 89, S Thakur 56; B Kumar 2-99, A Rajpoot 2-112) lead Uttar Pradesh 51-0 ( T Srivastava 30*, H Asnora 21*) by 559 runs