T20 Mumbai League: Ramjani steers Lions into final

Alpesh Ramjani’s 64 off 34 balls helped Shivaji Park Lions clinch its chase of 195 against Sobo Supersonics.

Alpesh Ramjani hit five fours and five sixes in his 34-ball 64.   -  Special Arrangement

Left-hander Alpesh Ramjani’s hard-hitting knock and his partnership with Hardik Tamore (90 off 45 balls) engineered Shivaji Park Lions’ astounding win against Sobo Supersonics in the second eliminator match of the T20 Mumbai League at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

Scorecard

Faced with a task of scoring 195 for a win in order to reach the final and merit a meeting with Triumph Knights (Mumbai North East), Lions hit out initially through opener Paul Valthaty and skipper Bravish Shetty to sustain the asking rate of almost 10 runs an over. Shetty generated the momentum, hitting three sixes off left-arm seamer Ankur Singh, and after his departure, Rajmani took charge and finished with an unbeaten 64 off 34 balls with five fours and as many sixes.

Nayar shows the way

Earlier, a roaring partnership — between Abhishek Nayar and a young batsman striving to make an impact in local cricket, Aakarshit Gomel — was wonderful to watch under the lights. Over the past week, the league had witnessed young guns like Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav explode into action and amass runs, but on Sunday, it was the turn of 34-year-old Nayar to take the initiative and show the way for his younger partner in the second-wicket stand that delivered exactly 100 runs.

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Jay Bista’s dismissal in the 10th ball of the match brought Gomel to the scene of action, and he did not waste time in hitting the ball to all parts of the field, even as his partner and captain Nayar showed clear intentions of going after the seamers. With the two batsmen on the lookout for runs, the six-over power-play fetched 50 runs and another 48 by the half-way mark.

Nayar proceeded to make a 33-ball 51 with five fours and one six in exactly an hour of carefree batting, before he hit the ball back to left-arm spinner Shams Mulani. Gomel, after scoring 30-ball 56 with eight hard hits to the fence, attempted a reverse hit and sent the ball straight into the hands of Shivam Dubey.

The fall of two quick wickets in the 12th and 13th over demanded some hard work from the lower-order batsmen and with Rohan Raje belting two fours and as many sixes, the Supersonics set a target which was a stiff 9.75 an over.

The scores
  • Sobo Supersonics 194 for 7 (Aakarshit Gomel 53, Abhishek Nayar 51, Rohan Raje 26 not out; Roystan Dias two for 35) lost to Shivaji Park Lions 195 for 4 (Paul Valthaty 41, Bravish Shetty 34, Alpesh Ramjani 64 not out; Hardik Tamore 32) by six wickets.
  • Qualifier, played on Monday: 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).

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