Mumbai v Rest of India, Irani Cup 2015-16, Mumbai, 3rd day March 8, 2016

Nair stands tall but Mumbai take control

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mumbai 603 (Suryakumar 156, Bista 104, Jayant 4-132) and 2 for 1 lead Rest of India 306 (Nair 94, Nayar 3-35) by 299 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo: Abhishek Nayar picked up three wickets to derail Rest of India on a good batting surface at the Brabourne Stadium © PTI

Mumbai took giant steps towards making it a grand double this season, as they bowled out Rest of India in a little over three sessions to take a 297-run lead. With more than two full days to play, Aditya Tare, the captain, decided to have a bat for a second time, with Akhil Herwadkar, who made 90 in the first innings, falling for a duck in the second dig; Mumbai going into stumps on 2 for 1.

The story of the day was as much about Karun Nair's gritty 94 as much as it was about Mumbai's disciplined bowling. Nair, who made a triple century in the Ranji Trophy final in March 2015, held the lower middle order together after poor shot selection resulted in an accomplished top order returning with little returns to show.

Rest of India, who resumed on 27 for 1, lost Faiz Fazal early as he was drawn into a drive to a Shardul Thakur outswinger. Jayant Yadav looked solid, and did all the hard work by grinding himself in before his dismissal for 46 triggered an implosion as they slipped from 110 for 2 to 128 for 5.

Sheldon Jackson, Saurashtra's highest scorer in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy season, stitched together a 59-run stand with Nair as the Mumbai bowlers were kept at bay in the second session, before a rush of blood triggered another slide. Jackson, who hit two fours and a six in his 37, lost his concentration and was eventually bowled after missing a slog sweep off Jay Bista, the part-time offspinner. Bista then added to his impressive match tally of a century and a wicket by adding another one into his kitty as he had Stuart Binny stumped shortly after.

All along, Nair continued to soldier on a calm manner, picking the odd boundaries and continuing to rotate strike at every available opportunity. Jaydev Unadkat complemented him ably as the eight-wicket pair put together a 91-run stand, the highest for the innings. Unadkat fell two short of his third first-class fifty to leave Nair precariously placed.

With Ankit Rajpoot, who wasn't coming out to bat because of a knee injury, the onus was on him to get the 18 runs left for his century on his own. He managed 12, before a misguided slap over the infield resulted in a catch at deep cover to bring an end to the innings. Abhishek Nayar had three wickets to show for 19 overs of toil, while Iqbal Abdulla, the left-arm spinner, and Bista scalped two apiece.

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  • Madhusudhan on March 10, 2016, 9:10 GMT

    156 runs required, 7 wkts in hand. 35 overs. Fantastic scenario. Match has come alive from dead. RoI batsmen should not lose discipline, calm and composure. T20 instinct in them is madness and should be buried till the target is achieved. All the best RoI batsmen.

  • parameswaran on March 9, 2016, 8:02 GMT

    Good bowling by Unadkat in the second innings. He seems to have improved a lot since he played for India. He also bats well and need to be given more chances. Lad is batting very well under pressure.

  • Vaibhav on March 9, 2016, 5:37 GMT

    This mumbai team is following the new zealand's footsteps . Good future ahead.

  • parameswaran on March 9, 2016, 4:22 GMT

    Glad to note that cricinfo followers are almost united in commenting against the makeup of ROI team. This committee lacks foresight. I have nothing against the selected players. We need to use such occasions to identify and groom potential match winners. Already our T20 team is one of the oldest with four players above 30. As a backup to Dhoni we should identify a back up keeper and groom him. What is our strategy for developing spinners. Are we stuck with Harbhajan, Mishra etc. We should try to identify spinners who are not good bowlers on only turners. Pacers should be able to bowl consistently at 135 as 120 kph bowlers have no future in international matches.

  • ramachandra on March 9, 2016, 4:20 GMT

    And to think Irani cup was played like this -

  • Sharada on March 8, 2016, 19:08 GMT

    How is this rest of India??

  • vinod on March 8, 2016, 18:17 GMT

    This ROI was selected only to make Mumbai win this trophy. well done selectors.

  • Madhusudhan on March 8, 2016, 17:49 GMT

    This is match is boring like a hell. Indian Cricket should do something for sure to bring the best out of RoI every year. May be a pep talk by Rahul Dravid can set the targets right for RoI players to achieve. This one-off match is not going to bring best out of both the teams or show the difference between sides. Irani Cup should be a tournament of 3 or more Test Matches at sportive venues.

  • Chandan on March 8, 2016, 17:32 GMT

    Karun Nair is proving his worth day by day. I hope his knocks in recent past have rung the selectors door bells. Wish u all d best karun

  • Maiyanka on March 8, 2016, 16:37 GMT

    Is this the best team that the selectors could choose from the REST OF INDIA?

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