After being bundled out for 287 on Day Two, defending champions Al-Barkaat MMI (Kurla) made a great comeback on Day Three of the Giles Shield final against Swami Vivekanand International (Borivli). The Kurla outfit not bundled out the opposition cheaply — 255 in 129.4 overs — taking a vital first innings lead of 22 runs.
Resuming the day at 172-1, the Borivli team’s target was to post a mammoth total, but they were unable to do so. Al-Barkaat’s right-arm pacer Hamza Siddiqui turned the tide in his team’s favour by taking the prized wicket of skipper Suved Parkar early in the day. Suved managed to just add five runs to his overnight total score of 102 before he was trapped LBW.
Thereafter the Borivli batsmen crumbled under pressure as Al-Barkaat spinners — offie Ritik Sharma and Rajesh Sardar (left arm) took 3-49 and 3-62 respectively to ensure Swami Vivekanand were bowled out early. Swami Vivekanand’s Shlok Iyer was the team;s second highest scorer with 68.
The Borivli must now bundle out the Kurla team early on Day Four and then look to chase down the target if they are hoping for a win, while Al-Barkaat have to simply build on their lead. However, in an interesting twist to the tale, Al-Barkaat lost three wickets in just half an hour and were reeling on 57-3 in 25 overs at stumps (overall lead of 89 runs). Swami Vivekanand’s left-arm spinner Hem Patel took all three Al-Barkaat wickets (Nabijaan Ansari — 12, Altamas Khan — 0 and Naushad Qadree — 18.)
Al-Barkaat’s left-arm spinner Rajesh is hopeful his batsmen can now pile on the runs. “After we got out for 287, the pressure was on us but now we have a first innings lead. To defend the title, tomorrow we must ensure we do not lose too many wickets,” said Rajesh.
SVIS’s Hem Patel however, felt the match could go either way.
“We still have a day to go. If we can get them out early, and chase it down we can lay our hands on this trophy after a gap of nine years,” he said.