That however, was hardly the case with Mumbai, who having dominated Jharkhand for 59.3 overs were left searching for answers in the remaining 30.3 overs. The defending champions had reduced the visitors to 180-8 and their openers were probably already gearing up mentally for their knock, but thanks to the resilience shown by Saurabh Tiwary (175 not out, 264 balls, 18x4, 8x6) and Shiv Shankar Rao (5 not out, 64 balls, 1x4), Mumbai are still figuring out how to break this ninth-wicket partnership.
Tiwary, who has been in exceptional form this season, never looked flustered even as wickets kept tumbling around him till tea was announced, and thereafter took it upon himself to guide his side to a fighting score. Nevertheless, what was surprising was the lack of ideas that emanated from the Mumbai camp when the going got difficult.
They could just not breach the defence of Tiwary and Rao, and although the bowlers including, Javed Khan, Akbar Khan, Shardul Thakur, Abhishek Nayar and left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar tried everything, they were unable to get that one ball which matters.
Hosts missing Zaheer
It’s a known fact that the 40-time champions were going to struggle once Zaheer Khan was not available, but to see them struggle, especially after having dominated two sessions was something few expected.
“We tried everything, but somehow it did not work out in the last two hours,” said paceman Javed, the most successful bowler on the day with figures of 4-61 in 19 overs.
“They batted really well and stuck to their plan. We were focussing on bowling in the right areas and expecting them to make a mistake. But that did not happen,” added Javed.