Iyer’s 82 drives Mumbai to 208-3 in Ranji final second inning

Indore, Jan 12 (IANS) Shreyas Iyer’s 82 helped defending champions Mumbai fight back as they reached 208 for three in their second innings after allowing Gujarat to take a 100-run first-innings lead on the third day of the Ranji Trophy cricket final here on Thursday.

Iyer found a perfect foil in former captain Suryakumar Yadav (45 not out) and the duo shared a 127-run stand for the third wicket as Mumbai built a 108-run lead over Gujarat in their bid to extend their record haul of 41 Ranji Trophy titles.

Earlier in the day, Gujarat were bowled out for 328, adding barely 37 runs to their overnight total of 291-6 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium.

Batsman Chirag Gandhi was dismissed at his overnight score of 17 after being caught by Yadav off pacer Shardul Thakur. Another overnight batsman Rush Kalaria (21) could add only four runs in the morning as he was bowled plumb in front of the wickets by a delivery from medium pacer Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

After these two wickets, Gujarat were 313-8 and afterwards, Sandhu and Thakur accounted for R.P. Singh (8) and Hardik Patel (1), respectively, to limit Gujarat’s lead to 100 runs. Chintan Gaja remained not out on 11.

For Mumbai, Thakur picked up four wickets, while medium pacers Sandhu and Abhishek Nayar took three apiece.

Mumbai, in their second essay, began strongly riding on a quickfire 35-ball 44 from 17-year-old sensation Prithvi Shaw.

Akhil Herwadkar (16) was the first wicket to fall, offering a catch to Samit Gohel off medium pacer Gaja, with Mumbai at 54-1.

Gaja took his second wicket soon as Shaw edged one to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, leaving Mumbai in a spot of bother at 66-2.

Mumbai, still 34 runs behind, needed a strong partnership to get it going and Iyer and Yadav did exactly that.

Iyer looked fluent and accumulated runs quickly during his 16th fifty in first-class cricket.

At the other end, Yadav showed a lot of patience and grit while trusting his defence to absorb the pressure.

Iyer scored the bulk of the runs during their 127-run stand as the 22-year-old right-hander scored 12 fours during his stay.

Gaja ended the partnership when Iyer found an edge which went to glovesman Parthiv, leaving Mumbai at 193-3.

Captain Aditya Tare (13 not out) and Yadav (45 not out) ensured that Mumbai didn’t lose any more wickets to be in a strong position with two days still to play.

Brief scores: Mumbai 228 and 208-3 (Shreyas Iyer 82, Suryakumar Yadav 45 not out; Chintan Gaja 3-54). Gujarat first innings 328 all out (Parthiv Patel 90, Manprit Juneja 77; Shardul Thakur 4-84, Balwinder Singh Sandhu 3-63, Abhishek Nayar 3-101) on Day 3.