Suryakumar guides Triumph Knights to T20 Mumbai League final

Far from being in good nick in the preliminary phase of the inaugural T20 Mumbai League, Triumph Knights’ icon player and captain Suryakumar Yadav rose to the occasion in the first qualifier play-off match against Sobo Supersonics at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot in Mumbai on Monday.   -  Special Arrangement

Far from being in good nick in the preliminary phase of the inaugural T20 Mumbai League, Triumph Knights’ icon player and captain Suryakumar Yadav rose to the occasion in the first qualifier play-off match against Sobo Supersonics at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

Yaday’s half century, which took his personal tally to 154 in six innings of the league, won the match for his team by 40 runs and also earned it a place in the final to be played on Wednesday.

After being given firm start by Shikhar Thakur and Shashank Singh, who scored 39 runs in the six-over power play, the Knights slipped to 48 for three in the ninth over. But one of the mainstays of Mumbai across all formats of the game in the BCCI tournaments, Yadav showed refreshing calmness to lift a grim-looking dug out with a 35-ball 63 with nine boundary shots, 5 x 4s and 4 x 6s.

In the course of his 47 minute tenure in the middle, the 27-year-old Yadav and opener Shashank Singh (34, 31b, 2 x 4s, 1 x 6) added 31 runs and thereafter the captain and Akash Parkar give a little more thrust by adding 57 runs for the fifth wicket when left arm spinner Harmeet Singh did enough of the wicket to beat the right hander’s bat and hit the off stump. 

After Yadav’s departure at 136, Parkar and Parikshit Valsangkar used the long handle effectively and  took their side’s score to 162, which looked a lot more impressive than when the Knights was at 53 for three after the tenth over and 94 for 4 after the fifteenth.

The Knights struck the first big blow in the first ball sent down by seamer Pratik Dabholkar and when the Supersonics’ opener Jay Bista checked his drive to offer a straight forward catch to Vinayak Bhoir at cover. The second wicket pair in  Akarshit Gomel and Prasad Pawar counter-attacked to make 45 off 31 balls, but once Pawar failed to clear mid-off and Abhishek Nayar pulled to the square leg fielder, the Supersonics challenge faded away. Eventually it was bowled out for 122.

The Supersonics will get another chance to make the final when it takes on the winner of the second play off match between Namo Bandra Blasters and Shivaji Park Lions on Tuesday.

The scores: Triumph Knights (Mumbai North East) Shashank Singh 34, Suryakumar Yadav 63, Abhishek Nayar two for 19) beat Sobo Supersonics 122 in 19.1 overs (Akarshit Gomel 32, Prasad Pawar 27, Dhrumil Matkar 25 not out, Pratip Dabholkar two for 34, Aditya Dhumal two for 23, Kalpesh Sawant three for 13).

Play-off 2: Namo Bandra Blasters 169 for 4 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 91 not out, Aman Khan 36, Shams Mulani two for 14) lost to Shivaji Park Lions    172 for 4 in 17.4 overs (Bravish Shetty  57 not out,Shivam Dubey 54).

Blasters eliminated; Lions to play Sobo Supersonics in eliminator on Tuesday.

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