Ranji Trophy: Jay Bista, Siddhesh Lad 146-run stand rescue Mumbai
Hosts conquer 77 for 4 situation v Tripura thanks to duo's 146-run stand
Centurions Jay Bista and Siddhesh Lad (both 123) were akin to oxygen cylinders for hosts Mumbai in their Group 'C' encounter against Tripura at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Faced with a 77 for four situation, the duo helped Mumbai take a 226-run lead to finish Day Two at 421 for eight. Resuming on their overnight score of 77 for three, Lad joined Bista when Tripura's Manisankar Murasing sent back nightwatchman Karsh Kothari (1) off the very first ball of the day.
Mumbai's Siddhesh Lad (right) and Jay Bista take off for a run against Tripura in the Ranji Trophy tie at Wankhede Stadium yesterday. They put on 146 for the fifth wicket in a crunch game. Pic/Atul Kamble
However, Bista continued his positive approach and rotated the strike well with Lad. He enjoyed a reprieve at 75 when first slip fielder Yashpal Singh dropped him off left-arm spinner Gurinder Singh. Bista got to his 99 with a copybook straight drive off pacer Abhijit Sarkar and reached his second century in his season's third match with a single towards point. Bista and Lad reached their century partnership for the fifth wicket in the same over when Lad executed a well-timed pull shot to the midwicket fence.
Bista's quickfire knock of 123 in 136 balls, laced with 17 fours, came to an end when he edged one to wicketkeeper Smit Patel off Murasingh, just 10 minutes before the luncheon interval. The 146-run stand for the fifth wicket had well and truly pulled Mumbai out of the woods. It's been an eventful time for Bista. He scored 400 runs in three U-23 games of the CK Nayudu Trophy with a double century (212) against Tamil Nadu last month. He will lead Mumbai U-23 against Rajasthan in the quarter-final to be held in the city from Wednesday, the day after the ongoing Ranji Trophy tie ends. Bista credited his U-23 performance to his Ranji flourish. "It is better to play there (in U-23) than sit out here. I thank the selectors, who sent me to play the U-23 games and that helped me get match practice. I didn't waste my four days. This is why I am in form," Bista said after the day's play.
Another grand show
Lad, who also shared a 172-run second wicket stand with Bista against Madhya Pradesh at Indore last month, played yet another memorable crisis knock. His 613 runs from 10 innings this season is exemplary. The right-handed batsman entered the 90s with a six over mid-wicket off Abhijit Sarkar. He reached his ton in the next over through a cracking cover drive off pacer Rana Datta. His 269-minute stay ended when Bishal Ghosh took an easy catch at deep cover off pacer Ajay Sarkar. His 97-run stand with skipper Aditya Tare was a rewarding effort. The captain displayed commendable patience to post his second half-century of the season.
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