Mumbai skipper says triumph over Railways at Wankhede has given his team much-needed cushion to maintain top position in Group 'B'
Although Mumbai were leading the Group ‘B’ table, the 40-time Ranji Trophy champions were still ‘desperate’ to win outright against Railways. Aditya Tare & Co eventually achieved their goal by winning the match with six wickets in hand at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday to further consolidate their position.
Mumbai skipper Aditya Tare (left) and Siddhesh Lad make their way to the pavilion after a six-wicket win over Railways at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/PTI
Riding on V Cheluvaraj’s unbeaten 133 and Saurabh Wakaskar’s 185, Railways bravely declared at 408 for four, setting Mumbai a challenging target of 295 to chase in 70 overs.
Mumbai lost debutant Jay Bista (10) early, but first innings centurion Akhil Herwadkar (75) and Shreyas Iyer (91) played aggressively to put the hosts in a realistic position to earn six points from an outright win.
Shreyas Iyer plays on the off side against Railways yesterday; Aditya Tare (inset). Pic/Atul Kamble
With 54 needed in the last 15 overs of the final day, all skipper Tare and Siddhesh Lad had to do was play sensibly which they did to perfection.
Tare was unbeaten on 71 while Lad scored 41 not out as the duo stitched an unbroken 95-run partnership for the fifth wicket to seal the match for Mumbai.
Tare revealed his desperation to win this match. “I felt this was the most important game for us. At this juncture of the tournament to get six points has made things a bit easier for us. We are not taking things for granted, but I thought this was a very crucial game and we need to win this desperately,” said the Mumbai skipper.
'Feel comfortable with Iyer'
Tare hailed the contributions from Herwadkar and in-form batsman Iyer, who is currently topping the run-getters’ chart with 781 in nine innings. “I feel very comfortable when Iyer is batting at the other end because he takes on the opposition and makes things easier for the batsman at the other end. He is very positive and that rubs on to the other players,” said Tare.
Railways skipper Mahesh Rawat tried many options to break the 143-run second wicket partnership between Herwadkar and Iyer, but left-arm spinner Sagar Mishra, who also plays for Matunga’s New Hind Sports Club, was the lucky one to manage a breakthrough.
Herwadkar was caught and bowled on the fifth ball of his very first over of the day. Mishra was successful again in his second over, claiming the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav (3) in similar fashion. Yadav middled the ball well, but played a bit uppishly and Mishra made no mistake.
Just as Tare and Iyer were trying to get Mumbai’s chase on track again, the latter was caught by Vivek Singh off leggie Karn Sharma while trying to hit over extra cover, thus denying Iyer his fourth century of the season.
Tare then teamed up with Lad, who showed splendid maturity to guide Mumbai home.
Railways 217 & 408-4 decl (S Wakaskar 185, V Cheluvaraj 133*; V Dabholkar 3-115) lost to
Mumbai 331 & 295-4 (S Iyer 91, A Herwadkar 75, A Tare 71*; S Mishra 2-53) by six wickets