Nair stands tall but Mumbai take control
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
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.