Minnows Meghalaya stun Mumbai by six wickets
Minnows Meghalaya end hosts' five-match winning streak in Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Mumbai, who were undefeated in their last five Group 'D' games of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, shockingly succumbed to Meghalaya on Friday for their first loss of the tournament. It was nothing short of an embarrassing blow considering Meghalaya don't even possess a turf wicket in a set up which cannot boast of other cricketing facilities.
Chasing the hosts' 157 for six in 20 overs, the visitors created history by beating Mumbai by six wickets with four balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium. Meghalaya had no famous professional players in their side and their top three batsmen were back in the dressing room by the fourth over.
Teja, Yadav on song
Ravi Teja (61 not out off 45 balls, 8x4) and Sanjay Yadav (55 off 44, 6x4, 2x6) played vital roles in chasing the target. Despite a poor start, Meghalaya managed to score 56 as compared to Mumbai's 48-0 at the end of the power play. Teja and Yadav were the heroes of Meghalaya's win thanks to their 92-run fourth wicket stand which came off 75 balls. Yadav, who was dropped by long off fielder Shardul Thakur on 29 off Shubham Ranjane, went on to make the most of his reprieve.
Earlier, Meghalaya bowled well to restrict Mumbai through the efforts of medium pacers Swarajeet Das (2-31) and Abhay Negi (2-41) and off-spinner Raj Biswa (0-27). For Mumbai, Jay Bista (44 runs off 30 balls) and Aditya Tare (27 off 22) put on 73 for the first wicket. Skipper Suryakumar Yadav (28 off 26, 2x4) and Siddhesh Lad (22 off 17, 2x6) were the other main scorers.
The Meghalaya outfit enjoyed extended celebrations which included selfies at the famous Test venue. Few players from their team were delighted to be photographed with Mumbai's young India star Prithvi Shaw, who is keen to make a comeback to the team against Assam on Sunday.
"This win means a lot to us. We are an upcoming team from North East. Playing against Mumbai is a dream and winning against them is the ultimate for us," remarked Teja, who earlier played for Andhra.
About the standard of cricket in the state, he said: "We don't have proper facilities. We don't even have a turf pitch and ground in Meghalaya, so we practise in Guwahati."
Speaking on his partnership with Yadav, Teja, remarked: "Being a professional cricketer, it is my duty to play till the end. He can hit the ball hard and we complemented each other. There was no pressure on us while we hit boundaries and took singles."
An early Christmas gift
Chiang-D-Shira, the Meghalaya team manager, who is also the Joint Secretary of Meghalaya Cricket Association, felt his team's victory over Mumbai was an advance Christmas gift. "This is like a Christmas and New Year party for us and we will be celebrating the win at our hotel," Shira told mid-day.
"Our Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who is a former president of the Meghalaya Cricket Association, congratulated us. He said we are an example for the youth and our generation in Meghalaya; it's a great moment for us and we have to move forward in that spirit," he added.
"It was a bad day for us," was all Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant could say.
Mumbai 157-6 in 20 overs (J Bista 44, S Yadav 28, A Tare 27; S Das 2-31, A Negi 2-41) lost to Meghalaya 161-4 in 19.2 overs (R Teja 61*, S Yadav 55, S Thakur 2-34) by 6 wickets
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