Yo Mahesh‘s resilient unbeaten 103 from No. 9 was instrumental in Tamil Nadu securing a first-innings lead of 76 runs against Mumbai at the BKC ground. Needing to score quickly to try and power ahead in the second innings, Mumbai found a calling card in Shreyas Iyer, who struck an unbeaten 58-ball 56 as the deficit was wiped out. Mumbai ended the penultimate day on 85 for 1.
In the morning, Baba Indrajith, who top scored with 152, added 52 for the eighth wicket with Yo Mahesh after R Ashwin fell in the second over to Dhawal Kulkarni. N Jagadeesan, the wicketkeeper, too didn’t last long.
Indrajith was as composed as he had been on Wednesday, and Mumbai perhaps erred in giving him too many easy singles that they thought would help attack Yo Mahesh. However they found out Yo Mahesh was no pushover; his five first-class half-centuries are a testimony to that. While he struck the ball cleanly, he rotated the strike sensibly to take Tamil Nadu closer to the lead.
Tamil Nadu, though, received a major setback when they lost Indrajith less than five overs before lunch when left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil got one kick off a length and had the batsman nicking to fist slip. Tamil Nadu went to lunch on 345 for 8, still 29 runs in deficit.
After the interval, Mumbai tightened the screws after the interval, as eight overs yielded only four runs. However, Yomahesh held his nerve and along with a remarkably patient Rahil Shah, who faced 104 balls for his 17. Shah, who has proven to be adept at batting time, put on 72 runs for the ninth wicket.
Yo Mahesh soon raised his half-century and with it Tamil Nadu’s lead in style with a four and a six over wide long on off successive deliveries. Eventually, during the extended post-lunch session, he would bring up his maiden first-class ton with a boundary via a ferocious sweep.
Once Tamil Nadu’s innings came to a close, it was time for the Iyer show. Despite the loss of Prithvi Shaw, Iyer showed no signs of circumspection. His tussle with Ashwin was brief yet absorbing. Two of his five sixes came against Ashwin, including a swipe over wide long on. Ashwin tried going round the stumps to Iyer, but he responded to the challenge with restraint and knocked the ball around for singles and twos.
Iyer then reached his fifty with a brace of sixes off Vijay Shankar, one of which hit the roof. Tamil Nadu captain Abhinav Mukund used as many as five bowlers in the 22 overs that were bowled, but Iyer remained unruffled and along with opener Akhil Herwadkar (24*) to stabilise Mumbai.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo