Kaustub Pawar and Surya Kumar Yadav's tons give Mumbai 1st innings lead

Kaustub Pawar and Surya Kumar Yadav’s tons give Mumbai 1st innings lead

Surya Kumar Yadav and Kaustub Pawar
Surya Kumar Yadav and Kaustubh Pawar. (Photo Source: Wisden India)

After a decent first day with the bat, the New Zealanders had a pretty disappointing second day with the ball in the Delhi heat against the current Ranji champions, Mumbai. Just like the first day, the Kotla track stayed intact for batsmen and the Mumbaikars took full advantage of it.

The day started with Kiwis having the upper hand. Bowling against a depleted Mumbai side, the main task of the New Zealand bowlers was to hand the visiting side a substantial lead. Trent Boult and Neil Wagner bowled a tight line and length and kept Kaustub Pawar and Armaan Jaffer under pressure by not allowing them to free their hands. But the 17-year-old Jaffer, who is devoid of any domestic cricket experience slowly found his touch. He batted fluently to score 69 at an impressive strike rate of 56 to take the pressure off.

Jaffer was finally dismissed by Sodhi and was replaced by Rohit Sharma, the centre of attraction for the day. After an ordinary game in the Duleep Trophy final, it was Rohit’s last chance to push the team management for a spot in the playing XI before the first Test. He looked solid when he got off the mark handsomely by striking Ish Sodhi for a six. After batting for 43 minutes, Rohit looked set for a big one but again wasted a great opportunity when he charged down the track against Sodhi and was stumped for 18 off 40 balls.

The run rate was less than 3 and the fall of the 3rd wicket and New Zealand were on top but the arrival of Suryakumar Yadav changed the momentum of the innings completely. Yadav batted with aggression and kept the scoreboard moving, as he dealt in boundaries. Kaustub, at the other end, was going at his pace Surya took all the pressure away and in no time they had a partnership worth 155.

Yadav struck 9 fours and as much as 8 sixes in his innings. As a result, he scored a magnificent 103 from just 86 balls before finding Luke Ronchi in the deep in an attempt to hit his 9th maximum of the innings.

On the other end, Pawar played a patient knock. He completed his hundred soon after Yadav’s dismissal and decided to walk off the field to give Siddhesh Lad a chance to bat. Pawar took 228 balls to complete his hundred and was a perfect partner to Yadav’s panache.

The madness, though, did not end there. Lad and Aditya Tare carried from where Yadav and Pawar had left. They stuck together to constitute an unbeaten partnership of 137 in 132 balls before stumps. Tare scored 53* from 76 deliveries with the help of 7 fours and Lad was batting on 86* in just 62 balls with 7 fours and 7 sixes as both of them tormented the Kiwi bowlers.

New Zealand were playing with 3 spinners, a left-arm spinner, an off spinner and a leg-spinner but all of them proved ineffective. Ish Sodhi took 2 wickets but conceded runs at an economy of 6.60 after bowling 20 overs. Boult and Wagner bowled well but Doug Bracewell also proved to be expensive. In the end, Kane Williamson decided to bowl himself and Martin Guptill.

Not only this, New Zealand would also rue their fielding efforts on the day. For an excellent fielding side, they dropped 3 catches today including one of Surya Kumar Yadav at the start of his innings.

From a point where they were looking to gain a meaningful lead, New Zealand are already 107 runs behind in the game conceding 402 runs in the day taking only 4 wickets. And the fact that their frontline spinners proved to be costly taking only 4 wickets between them would also keep them awake for the night.

Brief Scores:

New Zealanders: 324/7d (Tom Latham 55; B Sandhu 2/21)

Mumbai: 431/5 (Surya Kumar Yadav 103, Kaustub Pawar 100; Ish Sodhi 2/132)

Written by Shubham Aggarwal