Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: The Lad and Bista show
Off-spinner Siddhesh (5-13), opener Jay (54*) put up splendid performance to help Mumbai beat Mizoram by 10 wickets to kick off campaign in style.
Riding on part-time off-spinner Siddhesh Lad (5-13) and opener Jay Bista's unbeaten 54 off 24 balls (5x4, 3x6), Mumbai inflicted a 10-wicket thrashing on Mizoram in their opening game of the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
Put into bat, Mizoram were bundled out for 77 in 19.3 overs. Former India U-19 and Punjab batsman Taruwar Kohli (26 in 31 balls, 3x4) was the only batsman from the visiting team who middled the ball well.
Kohli and Lalhmangaiha (16 off 30 balls) stitched a 38-run partnership for the opening wicket before Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande (2-8) had Kohli caught by wicketkeeper Aditya Tare with a beautiful inswinger in the ninth over.
Lad versus Mizoram
Later, it was Lad versus the Mizoram batsmen as the tweaker dismissed Lalhmangaiha and Lalhruaizela (0) in his first over and then Saidingliana Sailo (six) in his second over.
The Borivli boy was unlucky in his third over as Tare failed to hold on to an edge from Parvez Ahmed (nine) off the first ball, and then off the last ball, Shams Mulani dropped Lal Ralte at midwicket.
However, Lad succeeded in getting Mizoram skipper KB Pawan (11) leg before wicket on the fourth ball of the same over. The bowler got his maiden fifer when he tossed one up to Ralte (six), who lofted it to Sujit Nayak at mid-off.
Mumbai's Jay Bista en route his 54 against Mizoram yesterday
In reply, Mumbai's opening pair of Bista and Tare (22* in 25 balls) completed the formalities in the ninth over when Bista dispatched a no-ball over midwicket for a six. He reached his half-century in the process.
Lad told reporters after the match that there should be a separate group for minnows like Mizoram. "Frankly, this decision rests with the BCCI, but I feel that they [teams like Mizoram] will take some time before they can compete and win in the Elite Group. At the moment, they should play in a group where the winner qualifies for the Elite Group. However, I think they'll learn, but they are new, so they'll take time," Lad said.
Lad, who has four first-class and nine List A wickets to his credit, added: "I've taken fifers at the club level. I'm focusing on my bowling in limited-overs cricket because there's healthy competition in the Mumbai team, and my bowling suits this format. You got to focus on other aspects of your game. If you bring an extra skill to the table, then the captain and coach keep the fact that you can contribute in another way too in mind. I never focused on my bowling earlier, but now I am doing it, because it helps in the Indian Premier League, or any kind of cricket. I bowled well in the Vijay Hazare [Trophy] too," he added.
Meanwhile, the second game at the same venue between Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry was abandoned due to rain. Friday's other Mushtaq Ali Trophy matches in the city — at Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra-Kurla Complex ground (Haryana v Meghalaya and Assam v Bengal — were also abandoned due to rain.
Mizoram 77 in 19.3 overs (T Kohli 26; S Lad 5-13, T Deshpande 2-8) lost to Mumbai 78-0 in 8.1 overs (J Bista 54, A Tare 22) by 10 wkts
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