Former Mumbai cricket kings Dadar Union SC return to 'A' division
Dadar Union Sporting Club will return to a level in which they dominated Mumbai cricket for several decades. On Sunday, the famous Matunga institution, helped by leg-spinner Seemab Khan's seven for 26 and Rohit Rane's unbeaten 101, claimed the vital first innings lead against hosts Khar Gymkhana to top the Kanga League 'B'
division points table with 17 points.
Dadar Union Sporting Club players celebrate after topping the Division 'B' charts of the Kanga League on Sunday. Pic/Sandeep Dahad (Facebook)
Khar Gymkhana scored 107 in the first innings with Priyank Shetty top-scoring with 62 while Dadar Union's medium pacer Harshal Merchant claimed six for 45. In reply, Dadar Union declared their first innings at 177 for no loss. Apart from centurion Rane, Kunal Nair scored an unbeaten 53.
In the second innings, Khar Gymkhana were bundled out for 138 thanks to Seemab (seven for 26), the son of late Bollywood actor Amjad. The match ended in a draw with Dadar Union scoring 10 for one in pursuit of 68 for an outright win.
Former Mumbai and India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, now a torchbearer of the club, was delighted with the win. Vengsarkar, it can be recalled, played the Kanga League only for Dadar Union ever since he made his first appearance for them in the early 1970s.
"I am extremely happy that a club which was in 'C' division for many years has returned to the 'A' division. It was very difficult to build a team because many players don't want to play in 'C' division. We tried our best but many players left which was unfortunate because once you get picked, you should be loyal to your club. Player loyalty is very important. Those who had left were not welcome back and we stuck with the players that we had.
"I revived the club and renovated the structure. I am very glad that we are back where we belong. It was a team effort. All our players gave a hundred per cent. Our manager Ashok Kamat and coach Sandeep Dahad did an excellent job," said Vengsarkar.
However Vengsarkar, who is also the Mumbai Cricket Association vice-president, was practical when it came to visualising an 'A' division triumph. The last time Dadar Union experienced that euphoria was way back in 1988. "I hope it comes as soon as possible. However, it is difficult to say when we will be champions again. We will try our best to win the championship," he said.
Talking about what made Dadar Union the force it was, Vengsarkar remarked: "We always went for full points. Often, we declared our innings and bowled out the opposition team again. That was always our aim. And Vasu Paranjape did a commendable job as captain. His contribution to our team was immense. Many great players played for Dadar Union and to be part of such a club was a great thing for me."