Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Iyer shows the way for Mumbai

With two losses in as many matches, the last year’s winner, Delhi, has virtually ruled itself out of a place in the final,

Shreyas Iyer scored a brilliant unbeaten half-century. (File Photo)   -  Special Arrangement

Shreyas Iyer cut out the frills, scored an unbeaten half century and led his team to a convincing eight-wicket win against Delhi in a Group `B’ Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Emerald Heights International School ground on Saturday.

Once Delhi capitulated to Tushar Deshpande’s incisive second spell, it was hard-pressed to post a challenging total.

With two losses in as many matches, the last year’s winner, Delhi, has virtually ruled itself out of a place in the final, especially with Karnataka picking up four more points with a ten-run win against Uttar Pradesh at the Holkar Stadium.

It was Karnataka’s ninth straight win in the tournament.

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Under immense pressure to repel the Karnataka seam and spin attack in the opening league match on Friday, Iyer had fallen prey to seamer Manoj Bhandage, but in the second match of the ten-team tournament, the Mumbai captain chose the safe option with his team in pursuit of a target of 145.

The arrival of senior professional in Suryakumar Yadav after the downfall of opener Jay Bista perked up the run rate, and in the end, Iyer hit a match-winning boundary shot and bring cheer to his teammates.

Generally, Iyer likes to be buccaneer-like, bludgeoning the ball and scattering it to all parts of the field. It’s his aggressive batting style and accumulation of runs that that brought to the spotlight, but stung by the hammering his received at the hands of a  high-quality opponent, Iyer (47b, 5 x 4s, 1 x 6) applied his mind to a task and did not leave the scene till victory was achieved.

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First and foremost on the second day of the Super League, Iyer and Mumbai took the bold decision to effect three changes from the side that went down to Karnataka; it brought in Bista, Eknath Kerkar and Royston Dias for Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare and Dhawal Kulkarni.

Bista, who was picked in the squad for the injured Ajinkya Rahane, played his part. After Prithvi Shaw chipped a straightforward catch to mid-on fielder  Lalit Yadav  off Navdeep Saini, Bista helped Iyer add  57 for the second wicket in a cautious manner that kept the Delhi attack at bay.

After Bista’s departure, Yadav looked for the big shots, hit Saini for two sixes - over mid wicket and straight -  made a 26-ball 42 with three 4s and two 6s, and raised an unbeaten partnership of 76 for the third wicket. Eventually Mumbai won with six balls remaining.

Maharashtra posts seven-wicket win

In the first match at Emerald Heights, Maharashtra scored a seven-wicket win against Bengal with Rahul Tripathi scoring a fine half century. 

The scores:

Group A: Bengal 138 for 7 in 20 overs (Manoj Tiwary 41, Shahbaz Ahmed 60 not out, Dominic Muthuswami three for 15, Satyajeet Bachaav two for 34) lost to Maharashtra 139 for three in 17.1 overs (Rahul Tripathi 60, Rohit Motwani 36, Akash Deep two for 21)

Group B: Delhi 144 for 7 in 20 overs (Dhruv Shorey 33, Lalit Yadav 33, Tushar Deshpande four for 18) lost to Mumbai 148 for 2 in 19 overs (Jay Bista 39, Shreyas Iyer 53 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 42 not out) 

Karnataka 149 for 6 in 20 overs (Rohan Kadam 35, Mayank Agarwal 33, Manoj Bhandage 25) beats Uttar Pradesh 139 for 8 in 20 overs (Aksh Deep Nath 46, Upendra Yadav 42, Vasuki Koushik three for 22, Jagadeesha Suchith two for 19)