Vijay Hazare: Akhil Herwadkar powers Mumbai to sixth win

Opener Akhil Herwadkar scored a fine century as Mumbai chased down the 187-run target with little to no trouble to record its sixth win of the tournament.

What stood out was Herwadkar's footwork as he danced down the pitch and hit the hapless Pandrekar for four massive sixes straight down. (File Picture)   -  Vivek Bendre

Mumbai’s marauding run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy showed no signs of ending as it hammered Goa by seven wickets at the Just Cricket Ground near here on Tuesday.

Opener Akhil Herwadkar scored a fine century (108 n.o., 112b, 11x4, 4x6) as Mumbai chased down the 187-run target with little to no trouble to record its sixth win of the tournament.

Herwadkar was circumspect initially, his fellow opener Jay Bista (32, 25b, 4x4, 1x6) doing the bulk of the scoring. After the first three overs only yielded five runs, Bista broke the shackles by launching paceman Lakshay Garg for a huge six behind square on the leg side. He would follow that up with back-to-back fours in Lakshay’s next over to assume full control of the chase.

Herwadkar steals the show

However, once he was out caught top-edging a pull off Krishna Das, it was Herwadkar all the way. But for an edge which flew between the wicket-keeper and first slip early on, it was a chanceless innings.

That he took 76 balls to get to his half-century, as the two left-arm spinners in Darshan Misal and Amulya Pandrekar bowled miserly spells, didn’t matter much.

From 50 to 100, he was at his extravagant best, consuming just 34 balls. Pandrekar, who at one stage had conceded just 22 runs from seven overs, ended with figures of 55 runs from 9.3 overs. Herwadkar alone scored a whopping 45 of those.

What stood out was his footwork as he danced down the pitch and hit the hapless Pandrekar for four massive sixes straight down, with three of them easily clearing the ground. In fact, Herwadkar collected 27 runs from his final seven balls to flatten Goa.

Verma shines with the bat

Earlier, Goa, which elected to bat, owed its total to No.4 bat Amit Verma (49, 73b, 4x4, 1x6) and then Suyash Prabhudessai (52, 56b, 4x4, 1x6). After being reduced to seven for two and then 37 for three, Verma set about rebuilding the innings in the company of ‘keeper Keenan (29, 57b).

But Shams Mulani’s two-wicket burst, trapping both batsmen leg-before while playing on the backfoot, halted Goa’s ascent. Prabhudessai’s innings only saved Goa from sheer embarrassment.

Maharashtra suffers first defeat

At the Alur Ground, Maharashtra  suffered its first defeat in the competition, losing to Vidarbha by three wickets. But with 20 points from six matches, it is well-placed to qualify for the quarterfinals alongside Mumbai (26 points from seven).

Scores:

Goa 186 in 49.5 overs (Amit Verma 49, Suyash S. Prabhudessai 52, Dhawal Kulkarni three for 32) lost to Mumbai 189 for three in 35.3 overs (Jay Bista 32, Akhil Herwadkar 108 n.o.).

Maharashtra 205 for eight in 50 overs (Rituraj Gaikwad 32, Ankeet Bawane 62) lost to Vidarbha 206 for seven in 49.2 overs (Akshay Wadkar 82 n.o., Darshan Nalkande 53 n.o.).

Punjab 284 for six in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 53, Yuvraj Singh 96, Gurkeerat Mann 101, Chandrakant Sakure three for 85) bt Railways 210 in 44.3 overs (Saurabh Wakaskar 104, Manish Rao 30, Mayank Markande three for 40).