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Suryakumar, Pawar put Kiwi bowlers to the sword

Rohit Sharma failed to fire and gave New Zealand the lone ‘feel-good factor’ on the second day when Kaustubh Pawar and Suryakumar Yadav scored centuries during the three-day warm-up game here on Saturday.

Rohit, expected to tune up for the upcoming three-Test series, was stumped off Ish Sodhi. During this 40-ball innings of 18, Rohit did hit a six and a four but perished in his attempt to hoist the leg-spinner for another big one.

Barring Rohit, all the Mumbai batsmen on Saturday scored at least a half-century.

Mumbai resumed the second day at 29 for one and reached 431 for five at stumps. Having scored 402 runs in 90 overs on Saturday, Mumbai now leads by 107 runs.

On a pitch that encouraged the three mainline spinners — Sodhi, off-spinner Mark Craig and left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner — Pawar and Suryakumar took turns to score big as the innings saw three century partnerships, 18 sixes and 48 boundaries. After youngster Armaan Jaffer resumed on 24 and reached 69 dotted with a six and nine boundaries, Pawar stayed firmly on course for a well-deserved century. He covered the distance with 15 boundaries, picking Craig and Sodhi for special treatment. He scored a boundary off Doug Bracewell to reach 100 and retired.

In fact, Sodhi was punished more severely by Suryakumar, who smashed eight sixes and nine boundaries during his 86-ball blitzkrieg. Suryakumar made his intentions clear by finding his first four boundaries and two sixes off Sodhi. Later, part-timer Martin Guptill allowed Suryakumar to add three more sixes to his tally.

In the final session, after New Zealand’s bowlers were well and truly taken to the cleaners by Suryakumar, Siddhesh Lad and skipper Aditya Tare raised 137 for the unfinished fifth-wicket stand.

Lad, who missed out on big scores in the recent Duleep Trophy, came good against an uninspired attack. With spinners in operation, Lad hit left-arm Mitchell Santner for four sixes, including two in an over, and went on to add two more off Sodhi before hitting the leg-spinner for three boundaries in one over.

Tare, who reached his half-century just before stumps, hit seven boundaries despite playing second fiddle to Lad. Now it is up to Tare to apply closure to the Mumbai innings on Sunday morning and test the New Zealand batsmen.

The scores: New Zealand — 1st innings: 324 for seven decl.

Mumbai — 1st innings: Jay Bista c Watling b Boult 0, Kaustubh Pawar retired out 100, Armaan Jaffer c Ronchi b Sodhi 69, Rohit Sharma st. Watling b Sodhi 18, Suryakumar Yadav c Ronchi b Santner 103, Aditya Tare (batting) 53, Siddhesh Lad (batting) 86; Extras (lb-2): 2; Total (for five wickets in 103 overs): 431.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-107, 3-133, 4-288, 5-294.

New Zealand bowling: Trent Boult 12-4-35-1, Neil Wagner 14-4-39-0, Mitchell Santner 20-5-71-1, Doug Bracewell 10-2-38-0, Mark Craig 18-3-60-0, Ish Sodhi 20-3-132-2, Martin Guptill 5-0-42-0, Kane Williamson 4-0-12-0.

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