Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Santha Moorthy takes five as Puducherry thrashes Mumbai

Santha Moorthy with his five-wicket haul ran through a star-studded-yet-hapless Mumbai batting attack to set up Puducherry’s second win in three nights in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Puducherry team after beating Mumbai in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.   -  Special Arrangement

Santha Moorthy, the 41-year-old pacer from Madras Cricket Club, ran amok a star-studded-yet-hapless Mumbai batting attack to set up Puducherry’s second famous win in three nights in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Sunday.

Thanks to Moorthy’s five-wicket haul (five for 20), Puducherry bowled out Mumbai for a paltry 94 in 19 overs at the Wankhede Stadium. The southern newbies of domestic cricket then overhauled the target with six wickets and an over to spare.

A quickfire start by the openers S. Karthik and Rohit D. followed by Sheldon Jackson continuing his unbeaten run from the match-winning hundred against Andhra meant Puducherry chased down the small target without any hiccup. But the afternoon belonged to Moorthy.

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Aditya Tare, woefully short of runs just like most of his top-order celebrated teammates, edged Moorthy’s first ball that was too full to be cut to Jackson behind the wickets. And then Moorthy induced an edge off Suryakumar Yadav off the last ball in the same over.

In his next over, it was the turn of Siddhesh Lad to repeat the ‘c Jackson b Moorthy’ mode of dismissal. With Sarfaraz Khan perishing for a blob to A. Aravindaraj in the next over, Moorthy came back for a third over and accounted for promising opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, caught at point by M. Vikneshwaran.

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If 39 for five in seven overs wasn’t bad enough, there was no looking back, Moorthy got rid of left-handed Sujit Nayak with a short ball to leave Mumbai reeling at 42 for six. Left-arm spinner Sagar Udeshi then found the danger man Shivam Dube with a straight one to ensure Puducherry had to chase down a double-digit target.

It did so without much fuss to register its second win in Group E. Mumbai, on the other hand, finds itself at the bottom of the table with four losses in as many outings.