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. 


Report: Mum vs Guj, T20 West Zone, 2014

Mumbai claim comprehensive victory against Gujarat

With a six-wicket win against Gujarat, Mumbai opened their account in the ongoing BCCI T20 League, 2014. In the West Zone encounter in Mumbai, the Zaheer Khan-led Mumbai attack restricted Gujarat to 126 for nine after opting to field. Zaheer, Pravin Tambe, Prathamesh Dake and Suryakumar Yadav picked two wickets each as the bowlers bowled in tandem to rein in the opposition. Aditya Tare (55) then led the chase and helped the team to an easy win after the loss to Baroda the previous night.

Earlier, Zaheer clipped his opposite number Parthiv Patel’s bails in the first over. With Parthiv dismissed for a duck with just three runs on the board, Rujul Bhatt made his way to the crease. Rajdeep Darbar was in sublime touch as he gleaned runs off the Mumbai bowlers. He hit Dhawal Kulkarni straight down the ground for a boundary and in the next sent a Zaheer Khan delivery to the fence behind the wicket for four. He continued to hit the ball all round the ground to keep the scorers busy and was ably supported by Bhatt. With Darbar leading the charge, the pair had collected 13 runs off Abhishek Nayar in the fifth over.

Tambe’s googly halted the partnership for 47. In his first over, the leg-spinner sent Darbar back for 31. In the first over, the leg-spinner ended the second wicket partnership for 47. The wicket also applied breaks on the flow of runs.

In the next over, Venugopal Rao, who had set up the game for Gujarat against Maharashtra the previous day, was run out for one. Himalaya Barad hit Tambe to Sushant Marathe at mid-wicket and returned in the next.

With the team on 60 for four, Akshar Patel joined Bhatt in the middle. But 22 runs later he edged Suryakumar to Kevin Almeida at first slip to leave the team on 82 for five. Two balls later, Suryakumar bowled Bhatt for 31. The Mumbai captain back in the attack trapped Rohit Dahiya leg-before in the next.

Six runs after Gujarat reached the three-figure mark, Dake claimed two wickets in two balls. Jesal Karia and Mehul Patel were back in the dugout caught by Marathe and Nayar. With 14 balls left in the innings, Kamlesh Thakore joined Jasprit Bumrah at the crease and the pair batted out the remaining innings. With six off the last ball, Bumrah took Gujarat to 126.

While chasing, Almeida and Aditya Tare rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking while they took the measure of the bowlers. While Tare provided able support, left-hand batsman, Almeida was the dominating partner. Amongst his boundaries, his strike down the wicket off Bumrah for four was a superb shot. Scoring at an unhurried pace, the pair had taken Mumbai to 42 in six overs.

Almeida nudged Dahiya down the leg-side to take the team to 50 with a boundary in the eighth over. But in the bowler's next over, the opener was caught by Parthiv behind the wickets for 32. Marathe took guard opposite Tare.

Mumbai’s in-form batsman, Tare who held up the other end smashed the ball over the boundary as he kept the team on course. A brilliant catch by Bhatt at short mid-wicket sent back Marathe for eight runs.

With the team on 77 for two, Nayar came out to the middle. As they inched towards the target, Nayar brought up the team’s 100 with a four off Akshar. And a bit later, Tare brought up his 50 with yet another hit to the ropes. However, with the team within reach of the target, Tare was bowled by Dahiya for 55. The bowler claimed all the three wickets that had fallen till then.

With Mumbai five runs short of the target, Suryakumar was run out. Nayar and Shreyas Iyer then attained the target with nine balls to spare.