Dropped from the Ranji Trophy squad, opener Jay Bista slammed his maiden first class century to lead Ranji Trophy champions to a strong 386 for 3 on day one of the five-day Irani Cup game against Rest of India on Sunday.
At stumps the 41-time national champions were sailing along merrily by riding on the bespectacled opener’s 104, Akhil Herwadkar’s 90 and half centuries from in-form Shreyas Iyer (55) and Suryakumar Yadav (not out 88) after choosing to bat first at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Bista, who impressed with his strokes on both sides of the wicket in his chanceless knock that came off 90 balls with 15 fours and a six, and left-handed Herwadka put on a solid foundation with a partnership of 193.
Both departed within a short span of each other, Bista trapped leg before by Krishna Das while flicking and Herwadkar edged to slip off Ankit Rajpoot after facing 148 balls and striking 15 boundaries.
But Rest were then frustrated by the attacking Iyer, who cracked 10 fours in his 49-ball cameo, and Yadav as the third wicket duo put on a quick 69 before the former was caught cutting off Stuart Binny.
Iyer has scored over 1,300 runs in the Ranji Trophy this season.
Yadav, who has struck 15 fours and a six in his 125-ball unbeaten knock, and captain Aditya Tare (38 not out) continued to make full use of a good batting track to pile on the agony for the Rest bowlers with an unfinished partnership of 114 for the fourth wicket.
The Rest attack was hardly impressive barring the first hour when left arm quick Jaydev Unadkat troubled Herwadkar, who hit a few streaky shots to the boundary.
Bista, who was dropped for the team’s semi final and final after playing in the quarters, was the pick of the batsmen, stroking the ball fluently with flicks, cuts and drives - to the off. He struck off spinner Jayant Yadav, who looked below par, for three fours in an over.