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BCCI Staff in Mumbai 31 March 2014 - 10:04pm IST

Report: Sau vs Maha, T20 West Zone, 2014

Maharashtra beat Saurashtra in close finish

Maharashtra posted a four-wicket win after bowling Saurashtra out for 123 in the West Zone clash in Mumbai. After Samad Fallah gave Maharashtra their first breakthrough, two wickets each by Dominic Muthusawmi, Chirag Khurana and Ankit Bawne and three run outs helped them skittle the opposition out. Losing wickets at regular intervals, Maharashtra batsmen then scaled the target with two balls to spare in a tight finish.

Earlier, opting to bat first, Cheteshwar Pujara opened the batting with Sagar Jogiyani. But with 19 runs on the scorecard, Jogiyani edged the ball to the 'keeper and departed for 11. Pujara followed him back in the next over. Dominic Muthuswami’s direct hit found Pujara short of the crease while running to the non-striker’s end. 

Sheldon Jackson and Jaydev Shah then added 50 runs for the third wicket until Chirag Khurana castled the latter. In the next over, Jackson too was back in the dugout. An Ankit Bawne delivery took the edge of the bat and was caught by the 'keeper. 

At 73 for four, Saurashtra had two new batsmen at the crease – Arpit Vasavada and Kuldeep Raval. Raval was then dropped by Fallah while on nine as the ball lobbed up and the fielder running to the wicketkeeper’s area dropped the catch. The batsman got another life as Vijay Zol couldn’t hold on to a catch in the mid-wicket region. Making the most of the lives, the batsman then smashed Khurana for a six.

At 103 for five and less than five overs left, Saurashtra needed to accelerate. However, Khurana struck a run later to send back Dinesh Nakrani for zero. Four runs later, a superb piece of fielding by Zol saw Vasavada return to pavilion.
With four balls left in the innings, Jaydev Unadkat replaced D Jadeja who was run out by Kedar Jadhav for eight. Trying to sneak in a single, he too was run out. Muthusawmi who affected the run out then disrupted Abhishek Bhat’s woodwork to bowl Saurashtra out for 123 with a ball still left in the innings. 

Failure to build partnerships had left Saurashtra a few runs short of what they would have liked on the board. Kedar Jadhav’s seven-man bowling attack struck at regular intervals and kept the flow of runs in check. 

While chasing, Maharashtra lost Zol with 11 runs on the board. Bawne then joined Harshad Khadiwale to take the innings forward. 38 runs later, Jadeja claimed the opener and Vasavada followed up with the wicket of Bawne to leave the team on 53 for three. 

Kedar Jadhav lofted Jadeja for a six near the sight screen, while Tripathi launched the bowler into the stands a while later. In the next over though, Tripathi perished offering a catch to Pujara off Vasavada while looking to clear the fence. Naik too was sent back by Vasavada 12 runs later, leaving the match precariously poised. 

It was left to skipper Jadhav and Shrikant Mundhe to take the team across the line. In the 18th over, Maharashtra batsmen claimed 10 runs off Unadkat to close in on the win. With the team within seven runs of the target, Jadhav’s miscued shot off Bhat was caught by Shah in the penultimate over of the game. 

Then, with four runs needed from the last over, Khurana and Mundhe took the team across the line.