Mumbai: Shreyas Iyer announced his return at the domestic circuit with a quickfire 178 runs off 139 deliveries and in the process propelled Mumbai to a comfortable position along with his captain Siddhesh Lad, who hit 130, on the opening day of the Group ‘A’ Ranji Trophy match against Baroda at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.With nothing less than an outright win to save from blushes, the 41-time champions Mumbai were 439 for the loss of eight wickets when the stumps were drawn.
While Iyer did it for the hosts, Hardik Pandya, the comeback man for Baroda after injury, got the visitors off to a good start accounting the wickets of openers Aditya Tare (15) and debutant Vikrant Auti (12) early in the innings to leave Mumbai struggling at 28 for two in 30-odd minutes of play.Lad along with Iyer, shouldered the team’s responsibility by adding 283 runs for the third wicket to bail Mumbai out of danger.
Hardik Pandya, who was out of action for over three months due to back injury he suffered during Asia Cup in September, looked in good form from the word go and finished with an impressive figures of three for 74. Pandya could have Lad’s wicket also, but was unlucky as Yusuf Pathan floored an easy catch in the second slip when Lad was batting on 28.
Iyer smashed 17 fours and 11 sixes during his knock while Lad struck 12 fours and two sixes. Iyer’s blistering knock came to an end in the 55th over when he tried to clear off-spinner Yusuf Pathan over the mid-wicket boundary but found Vishnu Solanki, who ran to his left and took the catch well inside the boundary line. Lad also lost his wicket in the similar fashion when trying to clear the ropes off the left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt as the ball landed straight into the hands of Shivalik Sharma at the long off boundary.
However, after departure of both the settled batsmen, Mumbai’s lower middle-order failed to capitalise on the momentum as they lost wickets at regular interval in the final session. Apart form Pandya, Bhatt claimed four wickets for 68 runs while Pathan picked-up one wicket.
Brief score: Mumbai: 439-8
(S Lad 130, S Iyer 178; B Bhatt
4-68, H Pandya 3-74 ) vs Baroda.