Shreyas Iyer struck a sublime 90 to take Mumbai to 327 for seven on day one of their semifinal against Madhya Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.
Iyer combined with opener Bhavin Thakkar (30) to share an 88-run stand before Aditya Tare (68) and Abhishek Nayar (43) played a handy knock to give their team a solid start to the semifinal.
Siddhesh Lad was batting on 57 at stumps in the company of Shardul Thakur in the game played at DRIEMS Ground in Cuttack.
The star bowler for Madhya Pradesh turned out to be pacer Chandrakant Sakure, who had made his First-Class debut in the quarterfinal against Bengal.
Besides removing the top-three Mumbai batsmen, Sakure got rid of Iqbal Abdulla later in the day to ended with figures of 4 for 102 in 25 overs. Experienced fast bowler Ishwar Pandey picked up two wickets at an economy rate of 1.78.
While Mumbai are 40-time winners of the prestigious domestic competition, Madhya Pradesh have entered the final only for the second time.
Iyer’s 104-ball effort came after Mumbai lost Akhil Herwadkar early, having put in to bat by the opposition. He scored runs at a brisk pace and ended with 13 fours and a six.
Tare took over from Iyer and played a patient knock off 117 balls, highlighted with 10 fours.
Mumbai would Lad to carry on for as long as possible on Sunday and hope the tail wags. His too was a gritty effort as he batted for 115 balls, hitting 11 fours in the process.
Brief scores: Mumbai 327/7 in 89 overs (Shreyas Iyer 90, Aditya Tare 68; Chandrakant Sakure 4/102, Ishwar Pandey 2/34).
Verma holds fort but Assam struggle
Middle-order batsman Amit Verma held together the innings with a patient unbeaten 74 to guide Assam to 193 for seven against Saurashtra on the opening day.
Asked to bat, Assam were in a spot of bother as the first three batsmen fell for just 25 runs before Verma and KB Arun Karthik (59) stabilised the innings with a 127-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Verma faced as many 210 balls during his unbeaten knock and hit 11 boundaries, while Arun Karthik’s fifty came off 144 deliveries with the help of six fours and one hit over the fence.
But Assam lost the plot once again when Arun Karthik was bowled by Hardik Rathod as three more wickets fell in quick sucession to make life difficult for the Eastern side which is featuring in its first Ranji Trophy semifinal appearance.
At stumps, Dhiraj Goswami (7 not out) was giving Verma company at the crease with Assam playing 78 overs in the day.
For Saurashtra, pace duo of Rathod (3/37) and Jaydev Unadkat (3/60) shared six wickets between them.
Brief Scores: Assam 1st innings: 193 for seven in 78 overs (Amit Verma 74 not out, KB Arun Karthik 59; Hardik Rathod 3/37, Jaydev Unadkat 3/60).