Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Tare helps Mumbai qualify

Showing character in a crisis, Shreyas Iyer also began the run-riot for Mumbai, punishing both Domnic Muthuswamy and Anupam Sanklecha, who shared the new ball for Maharashtra.

Aditya Tare’s explosive batting nixed Maharashtra bowling attack.   -  Bhagya Prakash K

Captain Aditya Tare smashed an unbeaten 65 to help Mumbai overhaul a target of 156 set by Maharashtra and ensure its knockout stage qualification, elbowing out its State rival on net run-rate here at the DRIEMS ground on Friday.

Mumbai faced a premature exit as Maharashtra appeared the favourite for second spot in Group D of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy inter-State T20 tournament, enjoying the advantage on points (12) and NRR.

Tare’s explosive batting overturned the calculations as he nixed Maharashtra bowling attack, hitting four sixes and three boundaries in an undefeated knock of 65 off 35 balls and took Mumbai past the victory mark. After its bowlers had restricted Maharashtra to a relatively moderate 155 with a disciplined effort, Mumbai needed to reach the target within 18.3 overs to overtake the former on NRR, as a win for the latter would have seen a tie for second spot on 12 points.

Showing character in a crisis, Shreyas Iyer began the run-riot for Mumbai, punishing both Domnic Muthuswamy and Anupam Sanklecha, who shared the new ball for Maharashtra. After his opening partner Akhil Herwadkar (21) departed early, Iyer opened the sluice gates, scoring a breezy 38 (23b, 4x4, 1x6) and sharing a stand of 49 for the second wicket with Tare.

After Iyer was caught at long-on by Maharashtra’s Rahul Tripathi, Tare began the demolition act with even greater intensity, punishing every Maharashtra bowler except young left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav, who kept the batsmen quiet in his quota of four overs (4-0-20-1).

Tare, who was given company till the end by Siddhesh Lad (31 not out), got the required runs in the first ball of the 17th over to help Mumbai tally a NRR of +0.621, which was well ahead of Maharashtra’s +0.152. The confidence and application that marked the previous three wins of Maharashtra was clearly missing as the team started badly against its old rival. The batsmen were unusually slow at the start, which affected the overall run-making process on a wicket which was conducive to stroke-making. The efforts of the Maharashtra batsmen, including Kedar Jadhav (29), Nikhil Naik (31) and Prayag Bhati (36) thus remained ineffective at the end.

The decisive win over Maharashtra that opened the door to the knock-out stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali interstate T20 tournament was the result of expressing the right attitude in the face of crisis, said Mumbai team captain Aditya Tare.

“After losing close matches (against Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh) everyone felt the need to pull up their socks to stay in the tournament. Today’s win was a result of this feeling,” said Tare after ensuring the thumping win over Maharashtra.

The Mumbai captain said the attitude the team showed in its outstanding performance was a result of playing the IPL which has rubbed off positively on many of its players. “It is true that many of the players, including me, played in the IPL. It definitely helps sharing a dressing room with international stars. A player gains the understanding of how to react in tight situations after playing in IPL,” Tare said. “We have a bunch very talented cricketers and we it was important we showed our ability in face of adversity,” he added.

When asked how he looked at his chances in the upcoming IPL auction, Tare said he possesses the right attitude and the ability and hoped that will work in his way. “I believe I am a good player with the right talent. It is essential to have the right attitude and I think that will work in my way,” he said.

Maharashtra captain Kedar Jadhav said the batting faltered initially and that resulted in the team setting a low target. “I feel we fell short by 30 runs when playing against a good side like Mumbai, which has a lot of players with IPL experience,” Jadhav said. “Ours is a relatively inexperience side. And we took the initial six-seven overs to adjust to the (DRIEMS) wicket as we played the previous three rounds in Barabati Stadium. That became crucial in the end,” the Maharashtra captain added while analyzing the defeat.

All-win record for UP

Uttar Pradesh completed an all-win record by beating Services by 57 runs in another match. This helped it top the league standings with 20 points from five wins. Karnataka salvaged some pride by beating Odisha by six wickets and took the fourth position behind Maharashtra with eight points (NNR -0.210). Services finished fifth with eight points, but had an inferior NRR (-0.898). Host Odisha drew a blank, losing all its five matches.

BRIEF SCORES

Maharashtra 155 for eight in 20 overs (Kedar Jadhav 29, Nikhil Naik 31, Prayag Bhati 36; Pravin Tambe two for 24) lost to Mumbai 157 for two in 16.1 overs (Shreyas Iyer 38, Aditya Tare 65*, Siddhesh Lad 31*).

Odisha 102 for seven in 20 overs (Abhishek Yadav 31; KC Cariappa two for 14, Shreyas Gopal two for 15) lost to Karnataka 106 for four in 17.5 overs (Robin Uthappa 48, Stuart Binny 32*; Tukuna Sahu two for 17).

Uttar Pradesh 182 for six in 20 overs (Prashant Gupta 43, Eklavya Dwivedi 89, Saurabh Dubey 38*; Raushan Raj three for 43) beat Services 125 for nine in 20 overs (Yashpal Singh 47, Vikas Hathwale 31; Ankit Rajpoot two for 11).