After two losses early in the tournament, Mumbai got its Vijay Hazare Trophy (Group E) campaign back on track on Monday with a convincing nine-wicket win over Puducherry in Ranchi.
Electing to field, Mumbai bowlers justified their captain’s decision as they chipped in together to bundle out Pondicherry for 139. Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani scalped three wickets while Tushar Deshpande and Mohit Avasthi scalped two each.
For Pondicherry, none of the batters barring Ankit Sharma even got to reasonable starts. Ankit made a valiant unbeaten 79 off just 84 balls (8x4, 3x6), scoring more than 50 per cent of the runs his team made.
Chasing a small total, Mumbai cruised home in the 25th over with Yashasvi Jaiswal making an unbeaten 73 (77b, 7x4, 2x6). Jaiswal and Prithvi Shaw (39) got the team off to a flying start with an 80-run stand for the opening wicket. Then Armaan Jaffer and Jaiswal saw off the chase to help Mumbai get its third win of the season after five matches.
In the other match in Group E, Bengal prevailed over Services by 47 runs in a high-scoring encounter.
Asked to bat first, Bengal posted a mammoth 426 for 4 thanks to centuries from openers Sudip Kumar Gharami (162, 129b, 15x4, 7x6) and skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran (122, 123b, 9x4, 1x6). The duo had a 298-run opening wicket stand before Shahbaz Ahmed chipped in with a quickfire 59 (28b, 4x4, 5x6).
Chasing a huge target, Services did not go down without a fight as the team, for the most of the chase, kept scoring at nearly eight runs per over. But unlike Bengal, none of the batters could go on to make a big hundred even though as many as five of them got half-centuries.
Arjun Sharma top scored with 75 (62b, 5x4, 3x6) while the likes of skipper Rajat Paliwal (65), Shubham Rohilla (57), Aanshul Gupta (51), and Devender Lohchab (58) chipped in with valuable contributions. But in the end, it wasn’t enough as Services finished on 379 for nine.
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