Ranji Trophy: A Yadav & Yadav show

Despite being team-mates at the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, Suryakumar Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav are fierce rivals for opposing sides. And both of them, just like the opening day’s action, stamped their authority to star for their respective teams.

Mumbai's Suryakumar Yadav missed out on a century for the second time in the match.   -  Vivek Bendre

For the second time in three days, the Yadav & Yadav show hogged the limelight as the Ranji Trophy Group A tie between defending champion Mumbai and underdog Uttar Pradesh headed into a potentially nail-biting last day’s play at the Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wadeyar Ground.

Despite being team-mates at the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, Suryakumar Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav are fierce rivals for opposing sides. And both of them, just like the opening day’s action, stamped their authority to star for their respective teams. While Kuldeep pegged Mumbai back with consistent strikes through its middle-order, Suryakumar’s 90 helped Mumbai post 286 in its second innings and set U.P. a stiff target of 295 runs to win the match.

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At stumps on Day Three, U.P. was 43 for one, with Shardul Thakur having accounted for seasoned opener Tanmay Srivastava for his second single-digit score. Had Shreyas Iyer not dropped a regulation catch of Samarth Singh, who came in to bat at No. 3, at first slip off Thakur, Mumbai could have taken a firm grip on the match.

When Suryakumar took guard in the third over of the day — with Akhil Herwadkar failing to make a reprieve by Bhuvneshwar Kumar count in the opening over and perished in Ankit Rajpoot’s next — Mumbai was 60 for three, with a total lead of 68. When Iyer lofted left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar to Rinku Singh at widish mid-off in the 11th over, it was imperative for Suryakumar to ensure Mumbai set U.P. a reasonable target.

Surya responded, just the way he did in the first innings and bailed the team out of trouble along with Abhishek Nayar, promoted ahead of captain Aditya Tare and Siddhesh Lad. The duo added 75 runs before lunch, with Surya crossing his second fifty of the match just before the break.

Minutes after lunch, however, the other Yadav took over with twin breakthroughs in the same over. The chinaman bowler first trapped left-handed Nayar in front of the wicket with one that turned into him and three balls hence, found Tare stranded with a skidder.

Suryakumar then again bailed Mumbai out of trouble with a 62-run association with crisis man Siddhesh Lad. While Suryakumar continued to play risk-free strokes, Lad’s six over covers off Kuldeep was the stand-out stroke of the day. Kuldeep, however, brought U.P. back into the game with a stunning catch at point, diving to his left, to give Bhuvneshwar his first wicket of the match.

Thakur then played an entertaining 48-run knock, which included crisp drives off pacers and lofted strokes off spinners, to help Suryakumar enter into the 90s for the second time. But Suryakumar again missed out on a century as his patient knock was cut short with a sharp catch in the first slip off Saurabh just after tea.