Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Mumbai's Incisive Shreyas Iyer smashes 83
Shreyas Iyer smashes quick 83 to boost hosts' hopes of putting up a decent total and press for outright win v Saurashtra
Mumbai did themselves a huge favour yesterday by taking a 46-run first innings lead over Saurashtra to ensure three points (if the game is drawn) in their Ranji Trophy Group 'A' game at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Despite losing half the side for 175 at stumps on Day Three, the hosts took an overall lead of 221.
It was Shreyas Iyer, who helped Mumbai at a crucial time. First with ball. The part-time leg-spinner was introduced in the attack for the 117th over and he took only four balls to break the 41-run, ninth wicket stand between Chirag Jani and Chetan Sakariya. The alliance frustrated the Mumbai attack for 139 deliveries.
Saurashtra's Chirag Jani plays a shot against Mumbai yesterday
Then, Iyer's chanceless 83 off 61 balls gave Mumbai a ray of hope to declare on a decent total and strive for an outright win, required to qualify for the knockout round. Saurashtra pacer Jaydev Unadkat welcomed Mumbai opener Jay Bista with a sharp incoming bouncer on the very first ball which hit Bista on his chest.
However, Bista executed a well-timed square drive which reached the fence off the very next ball. Bista (18), his opening partner Vikrant Auti (7) and skipper Siddhesh Lad (5) did not last long as Mumbai lost their top three batsmen for 44 in just 11th overs. The visitors found themselves under pressure due to Iyer's quickfire 83 and Shivam Dube's 39 off 29 balls (3x4, 3x6). They raised a fourth wicket stand of 74 off 57 balls.
One-drop Iyer, who had five hits to the fence and seven huge sixes, looked unstoppable. He completed his half-century via a slice over slips in 47 balls. Iyer was very harsh on left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja who was hit for five sixes.
Iyer slammed Jadeja for three successive sixes over the long-on fence, but he failed to clear the rope on the last ball of the over and Jani took a well-judged catch. After Iyer's departure, Shubham Ranjane (12 not out) enjoyed a life when he was dropped on two by Arpit Vasavada at second slip off Unadkat. Aditya Tare (7 not out) and Ranjane have their work cut out today.
Watch video: Mumbai's 500th Ranji Trophy match celebration