Mumbai: Abhishek Nayar struck a double century to help hosts Mumbai overhaul holders Rajasthan`s imposing first innings total of 530 in the Group A Ranji Trophy Elite division match that ended in a draw on Sunday.
Riding on Nayar`s 243, Rohit Sharma`s 100, Surya Kumar Yadav`s blistering 87 and half centuries by Dhawal Kulkarni (60) and Iqbal Abdulla (64) respectively, Mumbai scored a mammoth 625, which gave them three crucial points by vitue of 95-run first innings lead over Rajasthan.
With the match destined to be fought for the first innings honours on a placid Brabourne Stadium wicket, all competitive interest in the clash died down once Mumbai took the lead in the first session.
In the second innings, Rajasthan made 70 for two in 15 overs, losing openers Akash Chopra and Vineet Saxena in the process, before stumps were drawn for the last time.
Mumbai took their points tally from two matches to nine, having opened their campaign with an outright win over Railways at Delhi, while Rajasthan have two points from as many ties.
This morning the interest lay in whether Mumbai, who resumed at the overnight score of 439 for five, 92 runs adrift of their rivals` total with bowlers Kulkarni and Abdulla at the crease, would be able to cross Rajasthan`s total.
The duo of Kulkarni and Abdulla brought Mumbai within 10 runs of the total of the visitors, who had knocked the 39-time winners out of the tournament in the quarter-finals last season, before the former was caught behind off Rajasthan`s most impressive bowler Pankaj Singh.
The partnership raised by the duo for the sixth wicket was worth 106 runs in 213 balls.
Nayar, who retired hurt on Saturday due to cramps, came out to resume his innings after the exit of Kulkarni and, in the company of Abdulla, helped Mumbai get past Rajasthan`s formidable total before the latter was sent back by Pankaj Singh, the lanky bowler`s fourth wicket of the innings.
Nayar was the last man to get out after facing 327 balls and hitting 28 fours and a six. He became Gajendra Singh`s second victim.
Pankaj finished with impressive figures of five for 111, the lone bowler from either side to make a real impact in the match.
Brief scores: Rajasthan 530 and 70 for 2. Mumbai 625 (Abshishek Nayar 243, Rohit Sharma 100, Suryakumar Yadav 87, Dhawal Kulkarni 60, Iqbal Abdulla 64; Pankaj Singh 5 for 111)