Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: 'Mumbai unfortunate not to play in final'
Coach Vinayak Samant rues lack of semi-final leg after team fail to progress post Super League stage despite yesterday's 46-run win over Uttar Pradesh
Mumbai started the 2018-19 season by winning the Vijay Hazare Trophy (one-day) with a four-wicket win over Delhi in Bangalore last October. However, they are unfortunately not in the final of the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy to end the season on a positive note.
Despite thrashing Uttar Pradesh by 46 runs in the last Super League Group 'B' game in Indore yesterday, Mumbai couldn't seal a place for the decider.
Blame it on the format, which does not have a semi-final leg (only one team from each group qualify for the title decider). The final will be played between Maharashtra and Karnataka at Holkar Stadium in Indore tomorrow.
After put in to bat, Mumbai's Siddhesh Lad (62), Eknath Kerkar (46) and captain Shreyas Iyer (43) hammered UP's attack to post 187 for seven. In reply, the Ankit Rajpoot-led UP were bundled out for 137 in 19 overs. Pacers Shardul Thakur, Shivam Dube and off-spinner Lad picked up three wickets each for Mumbai.
Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant rued the lack of semi-final leg which prevented Mumbai from making the final. "There should be semi-finals in this tournament. We are unfortunate not to make the final. The format allows only one team from the group to advance. We lost against Karnataka [in the Super League] and that made the difference. We played well in white-ball cricket throughout the season," Samant told mid-day from Indore yesterday.
Room for improvement
Mumbai failed to reach the Ranji Trophy knockouts. Coach Samant said: "I am happy that we won the Vijay Hazare Trophy and almost made it to the semis of the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. But we need to work our red-ball cricket before the new season."
Lad echoed the coach's feelings. "It's disappointing [not to reach the final] as we lost only two games [against Railways and Karnataka] out of 10 league and Super League games of the tournament. We put up a consistent performance throughout the tournament and if there were semis, we would have definitely won," Lad said.
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