Mumbai Cricket Association’s selection committee drew a lot of flak when they dropped Jay Bista for the Ranji Trophy semifinals against Madhya Pradesh. Some suggested it was the internal politics that kept him out, while others, including his teammate Surya Kumar Yadav, took to social media to vent their frustration. Bista would watch his teammates lift the Ranji Trophy on TV, itching to make a return.
The opener was instead asked to play the under-23 CK Nayudu Trophy, where he slammed 128 in the quarterfinals and followed it up with 217 in the final against Madhya Pradesh to help Mumbai clinch the title. His performance at the CK Nayudu trophy, though, was enough for the selectors to pick him for the Irani Trophy and he justified his selection with scoring his maiden first class ton against the Rest of India (RoI) at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday.
Bista scored 104 off 90 balls to put his team in a commanding position, with Mumbai ending Day One at 386 for 3. Partnering Akhil Herwadkar at the top, Bista looked at ease, scoring at brisk pace and making few errors. By the end of first session, Mumbai had 159 runs on board and Bista was unbeaten on 89.
RoI bowlers erred by constantly bowling short and wide, the type of deliveries that would hardly bother him. Bista enjoyed what was being served to him and slammed three each in media pacer Ankit Rajpoot and offie Jayant Yadav.
Later, he would smash Jayadev Unadkat for a couple of boundaries as well. On 89, he charged Yadav with a lofted six at long on to enter the ‘nervous’ nineties. He looked anything but nervous, though. He brought up his century with three runs from the cover region.
He was equally well supported by Herwadkar. The duo added 193 runs for the opening wicket by the 20-year-old Bista was trapped in front of the stumps by Krishna Das. Herwadkar, meanwhile, looked firm and solid in his strokes, timing it well against he pacers. His fluent innings of 90, which included 15 boundaries, ended with him playing away from the body off Rajpoot and found Faiz Fazal at first slip. Shreyas Iyer continued his fine run by scoring a half century. At stumps, Yadav was batting on 88 while Aditya Tare on 38.
RoI seemed to have felt the absence of Nathu Singh and Barinder Sran, who opted out of the match due to injuries. But it would have been tough even for them to control Bista, who was out there to prove a point.
Brief scores: Mumbai 386/3 (Bista 104, Suryakumar 88*, Iyer 55, Binny 1/45) vs Rest of India