Mumbai’s bowlers impressed for the second time in this week by again defended a humble target to propel their team past Saurashtra with an 8-run victory on Thursday. The win also ensured that the team progressed into the Super League of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
In spite of Prithvi Shaw’s quickfire 36 off 17 balls (4×4, 3×6) helping Mumbai have a strong start in its must-win Group C encounter, Saurashtra restricted the star Mumbai batting line-up to a modest total of 147 at the Holkar Stadium.
However, Mumbai bowlers defended the moderate total by wrapping up Saurashtra for 139 in a match that went right down the wire.
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That, combined with the fact that Railways thrashed Sikkim at the other end, meant that both Mumbai and Railways have booked the two qualification berths from the group for the next week’s Super League. The the last set of matches on Saturday would be effectively inconsequential.
Star Bowling Helps Mumbai
It was a creditable bowling effort Mumbai’s players that kept the Saurashtra outfit at bay in the last day’s proceedings.
Shams Mulani, who is also Mumbai’s lone spinning specialist, opened his innings with a tight over. Dhawal Kulkarni then ensured that Cheteshwar Pujara was tied down in the next.
The star Indian batsman eventually mistimed a flick and offered a regulation catch to Shardul Thakur over the mid-on.
Harvik Desai, Saurashtra’s other in-form opener, also failed to perform well. However, Robin Uthappa, with his blazing 57 off 41 balls (6×4, 1×6) was in great touch. He hit Tushar Deshpande for 3 fours in the powerplay over to put the pressure back on Mumbai.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy round-up: Mumbai qualify for knockouts, Andhra Pradesh upset Jharkhandhttps://t.co/K61MhXdSYh— The Field (@thefield_in) February 28, 2019
In reply, Mumbai entered the contest back in five balls, as Thakur beat Desai with his pace. The later mistimed a premeditated glide well over short fine-leg to the keeper. Uthappa was then guilty of having a hand in Sheldon Jackson’s run out.
Although an experienced Uthappa kept Saurashtra alive in the game, the pressure ultimately got the better of him. Just when it felt that he and Vasavada would run away with the game, the KKR vice-captain was run out courtesy of Thakur’s direct hit.
The game was in fair balance with 39 runs needed off five overs. However, Mumbai’s pace attack bowled exceptionally well in the death overs to wrap up Saurashtra’s innings early. Thakur was the leading wicket-taker for his team.