Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy: Lad's effort not enough for Mumbai

Siddhesh Lad and Shivam Dube's efforts left Mumbai 14 runs short of chasing Baroda's gargantuan 211 for three in the opening encounter of the West Zone Twenty20 League at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday.

Siddhesh Lad is cleaned up during Mumbai's fixture against Baroda in Rajkot on Sunday.   -  Vijay Soneji

Siddhesh Lad (82 off 51b, 6x4, 4x6) continued his fruitful season with yet another stylish knock. Shivam Dube (33 off 14b, 3x4, 2x6) built up on an impressive debut in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final with a cameo with the willow. Still, the duo's efforts left Mumbai 14 runs short of chasing Baroda's gargantuan 211 for three in the opening encounter of the West Zone Twenty20 League at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday.

Lad had dug deep to salvage a draw for Mumbai on a seaming pitch versus Baroda in Ranji Trophy two months ago. Despite the conditions and the format being starkly different than that at the Wankhede, the pace duo of Atit Sheth and Lukman Meriwala, having snared all of Mumbai's first innings wickets in the Ranji game, emerged the stars for Baroda yet again as the duo shared six wickets to ensure that a quick-fire 106-run partnership between captain Deepak Hooda (66 off 39b, 8x4, 1x6) and all-rounder Krunal Pandya (44 n.o. off 26b, 1x4, 3x6) didn't go waste.

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Mumbai, on the other hand, struggled to build partnerships in the latter half, which resulted in them being always under the pressure to keep pace with a gigantic asking rate. After losing captain Aditya Tare for a first-ball fuck – cutting Sheth straight to point – Jay Bista and Lad looked comfortable against the pacers as well as spinners. Lad tonked the pacers into the stands at will while Lad's extra-cover drives were a delight to watch. Meriwala, introduced in the ninth over, gave Baroda a double-strike to see the back of Bista and Bravish Shetty.

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Lad continued to keep Mumbai in the game, despite losing Suryakumar Yadav to a run-out and Shashank Singh being fooled by Pandya. Just when the diminutive Lad was getting closer to a deserving hundred and taking Mumbai to safety, he attempted an ambitious cut and saw Sheth striking the timber. Dube then waged his long handle for the next two overs to bring the equation down to 26 off the last two overs but Meriwala enticed him into holing out to long-on with a low full-toss in the penultimate over to seal the fate of the game.

Naik steers Maharashtra home

Nikhil Naik (70 not out off 37, 6x4, 2x6) played the innings of the day as he helped Maharashtra kick off its campaign on a winning note with a four-wicket win against Gujarat in the afternoon game.

When the wicket-keeper-batsman took guard, Maharashtra was tottering at 49 for four in the eighth over and Gujarat's 151 for eight looked a long way away. But Naik played a flawless innings overshadowed Chirag Gandhi's rescue act for Gujarat ended up on the losing side as Maharashtra completed the target with three balls to spare.

Brief scores

Baroda 210 for three in 20 overs (Deepak Hooda 66, Urvil Patel 50, Krunal Pandya 44 not out, Kedar Devdhar 38; Tushar Deshpande two for 38) bt Mumbai 197 for eight in 20 overs (Siddhesh Lad 82, Jay Bista 36, Shivam Dube 33; Lukman Meriwala 3- 29, Atit Sheth 3-31).

Gujarat 151 for eight in 20 overs (Chirag Gandhi 61 not out, Axar Patel 38; Domnic Muthuswami 4-27) lost to Maharashtra 155 for six in 19.3 overs (Nikhil Naik 70 not out, Ruturaj Gaikwad 26; Piyush Chawla 3-27).