Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Kulkarni, Suryakumar star as Mumbai tames Punjab

While Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav starred with the bat, Dhawal Kulkarni turned to be the wrecker-in-chief as Mumbai defeated Punjab in a low-scoring tie.

Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav forged a match-winning 125-run partnership for the third wicket.   -  Anand Shivre

Despite Shreyas Iyer (46 off 40, 4x4, 3x6) and Suryakumar Yadav (80 ff 49, 9x4, 4x6) continuing to sizzle with the willow, a monumental collapse in the death overs meant Punjab pegged back Mumbai.

However, Dhawal Kulkarni (four for 22) then led the pace battery to ensure Mumbai defended a below-par total with little trouble in an intense Group C game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Friday.

Despite the greenish tinge on the Emerald Heights International School ground track keeping pacers interested all through the game, the strip was a belter once the batsmen had their eyes in.

It reflected in Iyer and Yadav’s 125-run partnership for the third wicket after the opening duo of Prithvi Shaw (dubiously adjudged caught behind off Sandeep Sharma for 8) and Ajinkya Rahane (mistimed a drive off Gony off the first ball he faced) fell cheaply for the second day in succession.

If Iyer was the aggressor versus Sikkim on Thursday, it was Yadav’s turn to wage a more severe assault.

His straight hitting and trademark flicks through mid-wicket left a sizeable crowd spellbound. Yadav was especially harsh on left-arm pacer Barinder Sran and Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh, fetching 26 off 12 off Sran and 21 off seven balls off the veteran offie.

READ: Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Ricky Bhui, Ishan Kishan slam tons as Andhra, Jharkhand register emphatic wins

However, just when the duo was charging towards a gargantuan total, Iyer - having survived two chances early on his innings - holed out in the deep.

That started a collapse as Mumbai lost eight wickets for 21 runs in the last 33 balls to be bowled out for 155 off the last ball of the innings. Six Mumbai batsmen fell for a duck. 

Teenager Prabhsimran Singh (54 off 20, 6x4, 4x6), who joined the crorepati club in IPL auction, then showed his hitting prowess, being severe on India pacer Shardul Thakur.

It was the Powerplay. The way we started, three wickets in four overs. That’s where I think the entire momentum came our way.

- Dhawal Kulkarni, on the turning point of the match

However, Kulkarni got into a rhythm from the first ball he bowled and bowled one in the perfect channel to earn the prize scalp of Shubman Gill.

If Gill nicked one to keeper Aditya Tare, Mandeep Singh could only edge one in Kulkarni’s next over to Yadav in the slips.

In the last over of the Powerplay, Prabhsimran - having tonked Thakur for 33 runs off 10 balls - attempted a wild heave off Kulkarni to offer Rahane a skier.

The last nail in the coffin was struck by all-rounder Shubham Ranjane, whose first ball of the spell saw veteran Yuvraj Singh chasing one wide outside off-stump only to find Shams Mulani at sweeper cover.

The long Punjab tail could never wag and Gurkeerat Singh Mann ran out of partners in a bid to take the chase deep.

Brief scores:

At Emerald Heights:

Mumbai 155 all out in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 46, Suryakumar Yadav 80; Sandeep Sharma two for 18, Baltej Singh three for 30, Barinder Sran three for 34) beats Punjab 120 all out in 18.2 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 54; Dhawal Kulkarni four for 22, Shubham Ranjane two for 14)

Result: Mumbai won by 35 runs

Points: Mumbai 4 (8 from 2 games); Punjab 0 (0 from 2)

At Holkar Stadium:

Sikkim 100 for eight in 20 overs (Lakshay Garg three for 14, Darshan Misal two for 19) lost to Goa 104 for two in 14 overs (Sagun Kamat 50 n.o.)

Result: Goa won by eight wickets with six overs to spare

Points: Sikkim 0 (0 from 2), Goa 4 (4 from 1).

Madhya Pradesh 138 all out in 20 overs (Parth Sahani 49, Abhishek Bhandari 30; Chetan Sakariya four for 38, Jaydev Unadkat three for 19, Prerak Mankad two for 18) lost to Saurashtra 139 for four in 16.5 overs (Harvik Desai 56, Cheteshwar Pujara 68; Ishwar Pandey two for 26)

Result: Saurashtra won by six wickets with 3.1 overs to spare

Points: Madhya Pradesh 0 (4 from 2); Saurashtra 4 (4 from 2).