MSSA U-16 cricket: Shardashram girls retain Apte title thanks to Aachal
Exceptional batting from Aachal Valanju (113*) coupled with great bowling from medium pacer Akshi Gurav (6 for 9) helped Shardashram Vidyamandir
Shardashram's girls pose after winning the MSSA U-16 girls cricket final at Parsee Gymkhana yesterday. pics/Suresh Karkera
Exceptional batting from Aachal Valanju (113*) coupled with great bowling from medium pacer Akshi Gurav (6 for 9) helped Shardashram Vidyamandir (English) defend their title in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association-organised Manoramabai Apte Memorial under-16 girls' final at Parsee Gymkhana yesterday. The Dadar team defeated St Joseph Convent HS (Bandra) by a massive 179-run margin.
Shardashram's Vaibhavi Raja (left) and Aachal Valanju yesterday
Batting first, Shardashram posted 208 for no loss in the allotted 15 overs. Aachal and her partner Vaibhavi Raja continued their brilliant streak and got off to a great start. Fifteen runs came off the first over itself. During the second over, St. Joseph's left arm spinner Vishaka Acharya missed a caught and bowled chance that would have sent back Aachal for 26.
With luck going Aachal's way, she pierced the gaps with some attractive cover drives and stayed unbeaten on 113 in just 52 deliveries. She hit 21 fours. Aachal and Vaibhavi put on 208 for the opening stand with Vaibhavi scoring a 41-ball 59. In reply, the Bandra team collapsed to 29 in 10.5 overs. Shardashram's fielding brilliance was best illustrated when Vaibhavi sent back Harshita Mhatre through a direct hit from point.
Shardashram's medium pace-bowling skipper Akshi was the pick of the bowlers as she claimed six wickets in just 5.5 overs. Off-spinner Nirmiti Rane captured 3 for 17 in her five-over spell. "I was aiming to get a big score in the final and I am glad this century came at a crucial time,' said a delighted Aachal. Captain Akshi remarked: "Every player has contributed to this victory. We played like a team, stuck to our plans and the results showed. I am very proud of this side."
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