Kolkata: 20-year-old Shreyas Iyer smashed his maiden first class century (153) to help Mumbai grab the day one honours against Bengal in their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
Promoted to number three, Iyer hit the Bengal bowlers all over the park with four sixes and 16 boundaries in his 175-ball knock en route to his first century as Mumbai ended the day at a commanding 306 for four.
His four sixes included two against Veer Pratap and one off pacer Ashok Dinda as the youngster did not give Bengal bowlers any chance. Poor fielding too was a letdown for Bengal.
Iyer's free-flowing innings finally came to an end after he edged Ashok Dinda behind the stumps, just three overs before bad light stopped play in 86.2 overs. Iyer put on a 176-run stand for the third wicket with a defiant Abhishek Nayar (65 from 127 balls; 8x4).
While Iyer was a delight to watch as he showed no mercy to an out-and-out seam attack from Bengal, hitting them all over the park, Nayar rotated the strike cleverly as the duo scored briskly at 4.69 per over in the association that began in the post lunch session.
It indeed helped their cause as the opening pair of Aditya Tare and Akhil Herwadkar began the proceedings at a snail's pace, scoring at less than two per over.
"I had batted at number three in my U-19 days and I was pretty confident of doing well especially after my knock in the last match," Iyer, who had scored 75 in their eight-wicket win against UP, said.
Mumbai could only seize the momentum in the second session of the day after the dismissal of Tare who consumed 105 balls for his 24 that also included two reprieves -- while on 4 and then on 23 -- in the slip cordon and both by a butterfingered Sudeep Chatterjee.
Earlier, captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla put the visitors in, hoping to captilise on the early morning gloomy condition on a seaming Eden track but his fielders let him down severely.
Despite being dropped twice, Tare was in no mood to score runs and had a tentative start, while the left-hander Herwadkar too looked out of sorts but he was the one to take charge against the new ball attack of Ashok Dinda and debutant Pritam Chakraborty.
Finally, Shukla gave the breakthrough with Chatterjee taking an easy catch of Herwadkar who chased an away going delivery without any footwork to be caught at second slip.
The quiet start meant Mumbai were just 79/1 in 33 overs at lunch and Tare was dismissed in the third over post lunch as their runrate went northwards after Nayar joined Iyer in the middle.
Skipper Suryakumar Yadav (22) and Siddhesh Lad (0) were batting at close.
Mumbai: 306/4 in 86.2 overs (Shreyas Iyer 153, Abhishek Nayar 65; Veer Pratap Singh 2/79).