Suryakumar, Lad put Mumbai on track

Suryakumar, Lad put Mumbai on track

Mumbai’s Siddesh Lad bats with a mask to fight Delhi’s smog on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match against Railways in Delhi on Thursday. AFP

Mumbai shrugged off a slow start against Railways to post 278/5 in the first innings of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match at the Karnail Singh Stadium on Thursday.

In the backdrop of smog, Mumbai, electing to bat on a flat track, found themselves in a spot of bother at 98/3. It needed fluent knocks from Suryakumar Yadav (83) and Siddesh Lad, who put on 129 runs for the fourth wicket, to help Mumbai regain their composure, before bad light stopped day. At stumps, Lad was batting on 80 and Shivam Dubey on 35, with 10 overs lost for the day.

Anureet Singh was the bulwark of Railways’ pace-attack; his first spell lasting 10 overs in which he removed Mumbai openers Jay Bista and Akhil Harwardkar. The pair of left-arm spinners Harsh Tyagi and Avinash Yadav did a good job in the first session, which ended at 113/3, but couldn’t stop Surya and Lad post lunch.

The runs came at a fast clip with both Surya and Lad, who caught attention for wearing a mask, driving effortlessly all around the park. Surya, who had a good run in the Deodhar Trophy batted with flair, and Lad kept up with him. At the time of tea, the two were on brink of centuries when a revived Mumbai took tea at 226/3.

However, on resumption, Mumbai lost two quick wickets. Surya failed to add to his total of the 83 when he edged Anureet to wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat, and an over later Aditya Tare was trapped leg-before by Yadav. Lad, watched on the sidelines by his father and coach Dinesh, who was nominated match observer for the Railways, continued unfettered, before the day’s play came to an abrupt end.

Anureet admitted the morning session would be crucial for them on Friday. “We could have done better. A wicket or two more would have been good. With second fast bowler more of an all-rounder, I knew I had to take responsibility of bowling long spells. I was ready to do that, I have done that in the past too. I had been sounded out that I would have to bear the brunt of bowling and I was prepared,” he said.

Yadav felt, “We had played lot of white ball cricket and obviously there was lack of red-ball practice. I play to the situation and we concentrated on a partnership. Lad brings lot of confidence to the middle. I have always enjoyed batting with him because we have a good understanding between us.”