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.
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.
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.
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