Ranji Trophy: I must win this game for Mumbai, says Iqbal Abdulla

Mumbai player glad at playing an important role to help 40-time champs beat MP outright and enter the Ranji Trophy quarter-final

With one league match to go (against Gujarat from December 1) 40-time Ranji champions Mumbai have already entered the quarter-final of the Ranji Trophy.

Iqbal AbdullaIqbal Abdulla, who stayed unbeaten as Mumbai scripted a memorable win over Madhya Pradesh in Indore yesterday.
File Pic/Suresh KK

Thanks to an unbeaten 68-run stand for the eighth-wicket between Iqbal Abdulla (39) and Shardul Thakur (38), Mumbai beat Madhya Pradesh by three wickets at Indore yesterday.

Chasing 280, Mumbai were staring down the barrel at 215 for seven when Abdulla and Thakur joined forces. They showed nerves of steel and eked out a match-winning partnership.

Iqbal Abdulla
Iqbal Abdulla

Fine comeback
Abdulla, who claimed four wickets in the match and scored 60 runs (21 and 39 not out), made a strong comeback in this game. “When Shardul (Thakur) and I were at the crease, I told myself that this is a do-or-die situation for me and I have to win this match for Mumbai. The pitch was a difficult to play on and the ball turned a lot.I am glad I played an important role in the win and proved myself,” Abdulla, who last played for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu at Chennai in the last season, told mid-day yesterday. Mumbai lost opener Akhil Herwadkar off the seventh ball of the day, but his opening partner Jay Bista (74) and Shreyas Iyer (36) added 99 for the second wicket. Things looked rosy for Mumbai before the match dramatically turned as wickets kept following. It was MP’s first innings hero Jalaj Saxena, who rocked Mumbai’s batting order again with four wickets but Mumbai had the last laugh. Skipper Aditya Tare (45) also played a good hand in Mumbai’s success.

(With inputs from PTI)

Brief Scores:

Madhya Pradesh 240 & 201 (J Saxena 79, D Bundela 42; S Thakur 3-33, I Abdulla 3-53) lost to Mumbai 162 & 283-7 (J Bista 74, A Tare 45, I Abdulla 39*; J Saxena 4-89) by three wickets

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