T20 Mumbai League: Yadav blitz helps Knights clinch title

Suryakumar Yadav scored an unbeaten 90 to help Triumph Knights narrowly defeat Shivaji Park Lions in the final.

File Photo: Coming in to bat with Knights at 34 for 5, Suryakumar Yadav turned the contest on its head.   -  Special Arrangement

Triumph Knights’ Suryakumar Yadav took the calculated gamble of batting as low as No. 7. It paid off as he delivered a captain’s knock to propel his team to a formidable 182 — rescuing his side from 34 for 5 — and eventually, the first T20 Mumbai League title with a three-run win over Shivaji Park Lions at the Wankhede Stadium.

Scorecard

Yadav’s unbeaten 90 wouldn’t have been sufficient had Shivam Dubey managed just one more big hit in what was a dramatic final over. With 26 needed to win, Dubey clubbed 22 runs; needing a four to win off the final ball, he swung and failed to put bat on ball off a surprising short delivery. The Knights received ₹ 1 crore as prize money and the Lions ₹ 50 lakh.

Among the top three run-getters in the league after Shreyas Iyer and Bravish Shetty, Yadav took the wind out of the sails of the Lions attack and received splendid support from Pariskshit Valsangkar during the 148-run sixth-wicket stand that remained unconquered for fourteen overs.

It was the highest partnership of the league, providing value for money for the 15,000-odd spectators. Yadav struck seven fours and as many sixes and Valsangkar hit five fours and two sixes as the Knights pummelled the Lions attack to collect 84 runs in the last five overs.

Hanging in

Having chased difficult targets in the last league match in the qualifier against Namo Bandra Blasters and in the eliminator against Sobo Supersonics, Lions did not give up hopes of chasing a target of 183. Shetty went after the Knights seamer Vaibhav Singh, scoring 19 off the third over, but perished failing to clear mid-off attempting an inside-out shot off left-arm spinner Aditya Dhumal.

When Siddharth Akre fell in the seventh over with the score on 57, the Knights perhaps believed they were all set to make history with ease. But they were baulked by the fourth-wicket pair of Alpesh Ramjani and Hardik Tamore for nearly 10 overs. Even as the match was getting tighter, Vaibhav got the vital breakthroughs dismissing Ramjani and Tamore in the 17th over.

Lions required 26 runs in the last over and the left-hander Dubey gave a fright to the Knights, hitting seamer Shashank Singh — who was bowling his first over — for three sixes and a four, but failed to connect the last ball.

The inaugural T20 Mumbai League could not have asked for a better finish as only three runs separated the winner and the vanquished.

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