Baroda v Mumbai, Ranji Trophy, Group A, Vadodara, 3rd day January 31, 2015

Shreyas Iyer, Siddhesh Lad dominate Baroda

Baroda 67 for 2 (Wakaskar 33*, Hooda 30*) and 184 need 341 to beat Mumbai 287 and 304 for 9 dec (Iyer 90, Patil 50, Lad 48, Yusuf 5-80)
Scorecard

File photo: Shreyas Iyer's supple wrists and timing were on display as he stroked 12 fours and two sixes © PTI

Shreyas Iyer led an energetic Mumbai batting performance, which built on their bowler's good work yesterday to inflict a difficult target of 408 on Baroda at Moti Bagh Stadium. Then the new-ball pair of Shardul Thakur and Balwinder Sandhu struck early in the final session to make it a perfect day for Mumbai.

Mumbai began the day with a handy lead of 103 runs and a rapid 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Iyer and Siddhesh Lad added further pressure on the hosts, who would have to bat last on a wearing pitch. Besides those two scoring at 5.84 per over, Nikhil Patil and Harmeet Singh produced a 66-run partnership for the ninth wicket to set up the declaration. Even Yusuf Pathan, who had claimed his second five-wicket haul of the season, had an economy rate of 4.44.

With a win vital to Mumbai's prospects the batsman abandoned their over-cautious approach from the first innings and openers Shrideep Mangela and Akhil Herwadkar were solid against the new ball and reeled 47 runs in 11.2 overs.

Yusuf made the first incision as Herwadkar misread the length, went back in his crease and was bowled. Mangela was run out, trying to steal a single in Yusu's next over after being dropped at forward short leg. When an accurate Munaf Patel got Aditya Tare to edge to the slips and Suryakumar Yadav missed one from Yusuf that kept low, Mumbai were 84 for 4 and in danger of being folded cheaply.

But Lad joined Iyer, Mumbai's highest run-getter in his maiden first-class season, and they counterattacked.

Iyer's supple wrists and timing were on display as he dominated the Baroda bowlers and completed his sixth fifty-plus score of the season soon after lunch. He was particularly vicious against Munaf, smashing three fours through the off side in the over before drinks. The third of those, a lofted cover drive, was the shot of the day.

As Iyer was closing in on his third century of the season, he was undone by some extra bounce and was caught at short leg to give Yusuf his third wicket.

Yusuf began running through the lower-middle order, but Baroda stumbled when Bhargav Bhatt dropped Harmeet at cover off his second ball. The batsman made the most of his opportunity with some smart flicks and drives and rubbed his luck in by smashing Bhargav for two fours and a six in the over before tea. Patil was sedate at the other end and reached his maiden fifty before Mumbai declared the innings at the fall of Harmeet's wicket for 35.

Baroda were forced to reshuffle their batting order following Kedar Devdhar's unavailability to bat for the day. Saurabh Wakaskar and Aditya Waghmode began slowly. Sandhu had Waghmode edging behind in the fourth over, but the umpire denied the appeal, but the Baroda captain was not so lucky in Sandhu's next over and bagged a pair.

The score slipped to 10 for 2 when Thakur had Hardik Pandya caught at second slip three overs later, but a more fluent approach from Wakaskar and Deepak Hooda took the side to 67 for 2 at stumps, 341 runs behind the target.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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