City cricket's domestic woes continue at Wankhede Stadium
Mumbai continued their poor show in domestic cricket this season by losing their opening game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament to Baroda by 19 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Mumbai captain Zaheer Khan enjoyed no luck on Sunday
Mumbai captain Zaheer Khan elected to field on a typical Wankhede pitch that offered pace and bounce. Opening the bowling for Mumbai along side the experienced Zaheer, Dhaval Kulkarni provided them with an early breakthrough of Kedar Devdhar for nine in the second over of the match after he edged one straight to wicketkeeper Aditya Tare.
Baroda suffered another major blow in the fifth over when Aditya Waghmode was dismissed for four – caught by Abhishek Nayar off Suryakumar Yadav.
The real star of the day was Hardik Pandya, who top-scored for Baroda. Coming into bat with the scoreboard reading 20 for 2, he smashed the Mumbai bowlers for an unbeaten 82 off 57 balls (6x4, 4x6).
He was particularly severe on leg-spinner Pravin Tambe and debutant Prathamesh Dake. The 23-year-old medium pacer though had something to cheer when he claimed the all-important wicket of Yusuf Pathan. Walking in at No 5, Yusuf could not have much of an impact as he scored just 13 runs off 16 deliveries.
Trying to up the scoring rate, he was caught at long off by Abhishek Nayar. Irfan Pathan too couldn't contribute much, getting out for 13 in the last over. With wickets tumbling at the other end, Hardik Pandya single handedly helped Baroda reach 144 for 5.
Chasing 145 was always going to be difficult under lights with the ball swinging a bit. Mumbai's opening pair of Kevin Almeida and Aditya Tare made a steady start before the former was caught brilliantly by Deepak Hooda for eight in the fourth over.
Shoaib Shaikh, shared a 36-run partnership with Tare before the opener was adjudged leg before to left-arm pacer Lukman Meriwala for 24 off 19 balls with three hits to the fence. The middle order never really got going with Shoiab Sheikh(18 off 23 balls) Shreyas Iyer (four off eight balls) and Abhishekh Nayar (six off 11 balls) getting out in quick succession.
The sixth wicket partnership of 24 between Yadav and Sujit Nayak provided some hope for the Mumbai camp, but the fall of Yadav's wicket was the final nail in the coffin. Fifty one off the last five overs was too much of a task and Mumbai eventually lost by 19 runs, ending up with 125 for 8.
Discarded India paceman Munaf Patel bowled brilliantly for his 3 for 23. He was well supported by Meriwala (2-16) and the left-arm spin of Krunal Pandya (2-16).