Ranji Trophy: Individual performances never earn a team win, says Mumbai's Abhishek Nayar
It is learnt that Nayar, during the break, went to the dressing room, where the atmosphere was very tense. But he returned to the ground telling his coach and support staff not to worry
Mumbai's seasoned campaigner and crisis man Abhishek Nayar once again proved his worth by claming the remaining three wickets on the final day to beat Hyderabad by 30 runs in a closely-contested Ranji Trophy quarter-final in Raipur yesterday.
Resuming on 121-7 and needing 111 runs to register an improbable victory, Hyderabad fought well with a 64-run eighth-wicket stand between Balchander Anirudh and Chama Milind (29). However, Mumbai's bowling all-rounder Nayar squeezed Hyderabad's hopes of making it to the semis with a superb spell of seam bowling. Nayar dismissed Milind and Mohammed Siraj in the space of three deliveries. He struck again to complete the formalities by inducing an edge from No.11 Ravi Kiran (1) to skipper Aditya Tare behind the stumps.
Anirudh tried his best and added 16 runs for the last wicket, but was stranded after a fighting 84, which was studded with four hits to the fence and two sixes.
Nayar, who ended up with match figures of nine for 100 runs, came into the attack after the drinks break when Hyderabad required 50 runs to win with three wickets in hand. It is learnt that Nayar, during the break, went to the dressing room, where the atmosphere was very tense. But he returned to the ground telling his coach and support staff not to worry and that he will finish the job.
"It was really a tough day for us as Hyderabad played well in the first hour. We were under some pressure, as they did not lose a wicket till the 17th over.
"I had already made up my mind to get into the attack and also figure out how to break the partnership. I was eager to bowl and I am very happy that I took the remaining three wickets," Nayar told mid-day over the phone from Raipur yesterday.
Though Man of the Match Nayar contributed well with both bat and ball, he felt it was a complete team performance and that made the difference. "We won matches in such crunch situations earlier. If any team want to win a game, everyone has to contribute.
"Take for example this game. Aditya (Tare) scored half-centuries in both innings, Siddhesh (Lad) scored a ton in the first innings and 46 in the second, Vijay Gohil bowled well to pick up eight wickets in the match and some players took very good catches too.
"So, it's a result of the team's overall performance that helped us beat Hyderabad. Individual performances of one or two players can never earn you a victory," said the 33-year-old all-rounder.
The veteran cricketer (who figured in three ODIs for India in 2009) wants Mumbai's batting to come good in their semi-final clash against Tamil Nadu.
"Before heading for the all-important semi-final our batting remains a concern. But at the same time, I am confident that Shreyas Iyer and Surkaykumar Yadav (two batsmen who failed in this match) will play well in next game.
"They are big–match players I am sure they will deliver in the semis," he added.
Mumbai 294 & 217 (A Tare 57, S Lad 46; M Siraj 5-52) beat Hyderabad 280 & 201
(B Anirudh 84*, T Agarwal 29; Vijay Gohil 5-64, A Nayar 5-40)
by 30 runs in Raipur
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