T20 Mumbai League: Herwadkar guides Andheri to victory; Panthers eases past Bandra Blasters

With a reputation to defend on the local circuit as an India U-19 cricketer, who had a Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai at 17, Herwadkar displayed glimpses of class, crunching nine fours and three sixes in all.

ARCS Andheri opener Akhil Herwadkar displayed glimpses of class, crunching nine fours and three sixes en route to an unbeaten 79.

ARCS Andheri opener Akhil Herwadkar displayed glimpses of class, crunching nine fours and three sixes en route to an unbeaten 79.   -  T20 League Mumbai

Opener Akhil Herwadkar marshalled ARCS Andheri’s chase with an unbeaten, controlled 79 as his team beat Shivaji Park Lions by four wickets in an exciting T20 Mumbai tie at the Wankhede stadium.

The former Delhi Daredevils strokemaker’s effort, chasing down 159, left him exhausted on a humid evening. The knock was split into two phases — eight fours and a six in racing to 50 off 29 balls and then opting for caution till the final over, with nine runs needed.

With a reputation to defend on the local circuit as an India U-19 cricketer, who had a Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai at 17, Herwadkar displayed glimpses of class, crunching nine fours and three sixes in all.

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Fellow opener Sufian Shaikh set the tone with a 16-ball 25 and later Azhar Ansari (17 off five balls) dealt decisive blows in the death overs. Andheri now has two wins in three games.

Earlier, Swapnil Pradhan struck form — stroking powerfully and placing the ball well — to boost SPL’s hopes at the start. The opener hit six fours and a six in 44 off 33 balls.

He fell to the canny Iqbal Abdulla, one of two victims claimed by the left-arm spinner (4-0-16-2). Andheri skipper Kevin Almeida lent his might with a stunning stop-and-throw from cover to run out Rudra Dhandey.

SPL appeared to be heading for a trouble with none of the other batsman able to break the bowlers’ dominance and build on the burst of runs in the PowerPlay overs (50 for one).

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Andheri remained in firm control, pegging back SPL (99 for five in 15 overs) till top-scorer Raunak (51 n.o. off 38 balls) grabbed the initiative with power-packed hitting, stealing 22 in the 20th over. He smashed four sixes and three fours, but ended on the losing side after the Herwadkar show.

North Mumbai Panthers piled up 175 in 20 overs for the loss of eight wickets and then restricted Namo Bandra Blasters to 148 for seven in 20 overs, winning by 27 runs in the second tie.

The scores: Shivaji Park Lions 159 for six in 20 overs (Swapnil Pradhan 44, Raunak Sharma, 51 n.o., Iqbal Abdulla two for 16) lost to ARCS Andheri 163 for six in 19.5 overs (Akhil Herwadkar 79 n.o., Sufiyan Shaikh 25, Shivam Dube two for 41).

North Mumbai Panthers 175 for eight in 20 overs (Prithvi Shaw 53, Vikrant Auti 51, Aditya Dhumal two for 29, Sujit Naik two for 23, Shreyas Iyer two for 32) beat Namo Bandra Blasters 148 for seven in 20 overs (Sujit Naik 29, Siddharth Chitnis 50 n.o., Aditya Dhumal 38, Rahul Sawant two for 15, Atif Attarwala three for 34).