With his first century of the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 season Suryakumar Yadav salvaged the Mumbai innings along with Vinit Indulkar, who missed out on a well-deserved ton in his comeback game for the hosts. Their efforts helped Mumbai to 306 for seven at the end of the first day’s play against Maharashtra. Iqbal Abdullah (9*) was batting with Zaheer Khan (5*) when play ended on Wednesday evening at the Wankhede Stadium.
Earlier, put in to bat in conditions favourable for bowling, Mumbai scored 92 runs in the morning session at the cost of three wickets. Wasim Jaffer opened the batting with Kaustubh Pawar, and the pair worked their way to 35, until the latter was dismissed.
The visiting bowlers kept the flow of runs in check. Part-time pacer Harshad Khadiwale bowled three maidens in a four-over first spell as skipper Motwani persisted with the fast bowlers.
Meanwhile, Vinit Indulkar, returning to the Mumbai side after six years, bided his time at the crease. He impressed with classy drives and held up one end.
The Jaffer-Indulkar pair chipped away at bowling, but the blossoming partnership was worth 37 when the opener returned to the dressing room for 44 in the last over of the session. After hitting Shirkant Mundhe for a four straight down the ground, he pulled at the ball and was caught at mid-on by Ankit Bawane. Two of his eight boundaries were straight drives off Mundhe.
Abhishek Nayar then came out to bat with Indulkar after lunch with the team on 92 for three. But after adding just five runs to the total, he edged Fallah to Kedar Jadhav at first slip. Suryakumar Yadav then joined Indulkar in the middle and the pair garnered runs and stabilised the Mumbai innings. Coming in at No.6, the stylish batsman plucked runs off the Maharashtra attack with some great strokes. Indulkar, at the other end, played a supporting role.
Motwani introduced spin in the form of Akshay Darekar in the 48th over. But Darekar bowled only two overs as the Mumbai batsmen collected 10 runs off him and the partnership crossed 50.
Khadiwale was then reintroduced into the attack, but was plundered by Yadav, who sent him racing to the boundary couple of times.
Breathing new life into the innings, he raced to his 50 off 62 balls with seven boundaries. Motwani missed a stumping off Darekar after Yadav reached his half-century, and the duo continued to build the innings and took the team past 150. Wresting the advantage from Maharashtra, the pair took the hosts to 176 for four tea.
Soon after the last session commenced, Indulkar brought up a carefully-compiled 50. The partnership also reached the three-figure mark. While Indulkar was 63, he was granted a life by the ‘keeper and the first slip as the batsman chipped at a Chirag Khurana delivery.
Continuing to milk the bowlers, Yadav brought up his first century of the season with a boundary off Mundhe, in just 115 balls. The partnership had reached 183 when Indulkar edged Sanklecha to Motwani to depart for 82.
With the team comfortably placed on 284, Abdullah came to the middle late in the last session. But Maharashtra then struck with the new ball. Sanklecha had Suryakumar Yadav caught at second slip by Khurana for 120 to give the visitors a crucial breakthrough. And Fallah accounted for the wicket of Shardul Thakur after the team reached the 300-run mark, bringing in Zaheer to the middle.
Abdullah and Zaheer then took Mumbai to stumps on the first day.