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Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament: Mumbai outclass Saurashtra for 2nd win in a row

Riding on some powerful batting lower down the order and a tidy bowling effort, Mumbai thrashed Saurashtra by 16 runs in the West Zone T20 league game at the MCA's BKC ground on Wednesday

Mumbai recorded their second consecutive win in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for West Zone, beating Saurashtra by 16 runs at the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra-Kurla Complex ground yesterday.

Put into bat, the hosts started off steadily before India’s U-19 star Sarfaraz Khan and Sujit Nayak exploded towards the end to take the team to 145 for five in the 20 overs. Saurashtra, in reply, were restricted to 129 for seven despite opener Cheteshwar Pujara providing a good platform to build on with a 60-ball 62.

Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan in action during his knock of 36 against Saurashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament tie at the Bandra-Kurla Complex ground in Mumbai on Wednesday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Sarfaraz slammed a 20-ball 36 on his T20 debut for Mumbai while Nayak scored 23 off seven balls as the duo piled on 46 runs in just 16 balls for the sixth wicket. Mumbai made most of the last couple of overs of their innings - scoring 39 runs. Openers Aditya Tare (29) and Sushant Marathe (25) scored 32 in six overs to provide a good platform for Mumbai to pile on a big score.

Tare was the his aggressive best, scoring shorts all around the ground. His impressive knock was halted after being stumped by SagarJogiyani while attempting to play a cover drive off the left-arm spinner Arpit Vasavada.

Abhishek Nayar, walking in at No 3, kept the scoreboard ticking but was losing partners at the other end with Marathe, Surya Kumar Yadav (2) and Shreyas Iyer (6) getting out in quick successions.

Sarfaraz rebuild the innings along with Nayar. However, just when the ship was steadied Nayar was cleaned up by Jaydev Unadkat on 24, ending the 28 run partnership.

A late onslaught by Sujit Nayak and Sarfaraz helped Mumbai reach a challenging total.

After being in the reserves for the first two matches, Sarfaraz said, “This was an important game for me. I wasn’t in the playing XI in the last two matches. I have to perform well to cement my place in this side. I am happy to bail out my team from a tough situation today.”

Saurashtra seemed to have squandered away the match which could have swung their way had the team capitalised on Pujara’s start.

The first six overs of powerplay resulted in only 19 runs with the loss of one wicket. The second wicket partnership of 57 between Sheldon Jackson and Pujara gave Saurashtra some hope of making a comeback, but it soon ended with the former being caught by Sarfaraz off Prathamesh Dhake for 26.

Skipper Jaydev Shah scored a quickfire 14 off 10 before being cleaned up by Dhake.

Pujara was brilliantly caught by Marathe at the deep midwicket boundary giving Zaheer Khan his first wicket of the match.

Dhake was the pick of the bowler with 3-25 while skipper Zaheer claimed two for 29. Dhawal Kulkarni and Nayar claimed one wicket each.

Brief scores: Mumbai 145-5 (Sarfaraz Khan 36, Aditya Tare 29, Sushant Marathe 25; Arpit Vasavada 4-19) beat Saurashtra 129-5 (Cheteshwar Pujara 62, Sheldon Jackson 22; P Dhake 3-25, Zaheer Khan 2-29).

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