Despite a smooth sailing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy league stage and a dominating seven-wicket win Hyderabad yesterday, domestic giants Mumbai couldn’t save themselves from being knocked out of the tournament.
Punjab edged Mumbai in points with a thrilling three-wicket win over Services. Tamil Nadu and Punjab qualified from Group A with 20 points while Mumbai finished with 16.
‘We did not play badly’
Mumbai may not have been successful in qualifying for the quarter-finals, but coach Chandrakant Pandit was proud of his boys. "We did not play badly at all. We were not outclassed by any team. The two losses (against Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan) hurt us the most. Those two matches were closely fought. We posted more than 300 runs despite being 44 for four (against Rajasthan). It was a little disappointing in that sense to not end up on the winning side after such a good show," Pandit told mid-day from Hyderabad.
Yesterday, Mumbai restricted Hyderabad to 217-7. Aditya Tare & Co chased down the target in 44.2 overs thanks to Akhil Herwadkar's 85 and Shreyas Iyer's 84-ball 83.
Pandit said the loss against Tamil Nadu put Mumbai in a tight spot. "That loss put us under some pressure. We knew every game would matter a lot from thereon. We even tried finishing our games with big margins to keep our run rate higher in a worst-case scenario. But Punjab’s victory today changed the whole equation for us," Pandit lamented.
The former India stumper said adapting to a different format was crucial. “There was hardly had any time to switch from four-day cricket to one-dayers," Pandit signed off.