Kanpur: Just when all seemed lost for Mumbai, lower-order batsmen Shreyas Iyer and Shardul Thakur fought back to give the visitors a vital first-innings lead against Uttar Pradesh on Day 3 of the Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match, here today.

Shardul Thakur

Starting the day on 48 for three in response to UP's 206 at Green Park in the four-day encounter, Mumbai were eight down for 173 before Iyer (75) and Thakur (87) stitched a 97-run ninth-wicket partnership to help the Suryakumar Yadav-led side gain lost ground.

Iyer, who is primarily an off-spinner, and Thakur, Mumbai's pace spearhead, batted with purpose to register their maiden first-class half-centuries respectively. After Thakur departed, number-ten Kshemal Waingankar also fought it out with a brave 31 not out, laced with 3 fours and 2 sixes.

For UP, the opening bowling duo of Praveen Kumar (3-77) and Amit Mishra (4-63) shared seven wicketes between themselves to hit Mumbai hard but let the advantage slip away after the lower-order resistance.

In the end it was skipper Piyush Chawla, who not only got the dangerous Thakur back in the pavilion but also put an end to UP's misery by picking the last wicket. With only an over possible in UP's second innings, the hosts were 7 for no loss with openers Mukul Dagar and Prasanth Gupta at the crease.

Brief Scores:
Uttar Pradesh 206 and 7/0 in 1 over (Mukul Dagar 7 not out, Prasanth Gupta 0 not out; Shardul Thakur 0-7)
Mumbai 270 (Shreyas Iyer 75, Shardul Thakur 87; Amit Mishra 4-63, Praveen Kumar 3-77, Piyush CHawla 2-40)