Himachal’s heartbreak, Mumbai’s joy
Mumabi crowned champions of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Mumbai, led by Ajinkya Rahane, win their first SMAT after a nail-biter versus Himachal Pradesh, captained by Rishi Dhawan. At the Garden, drama ensued as Mumbai crept past and won with three wickets to spare in the final over of the contest.
Jinx won the toss and chose to bat first. Himachal got off to a shaky start, losing two wickets in the mandatory powerplay. Nikhil Gangta, reeling at 38 for two, attempted to attack but fell short after four exquisite boundaries.
They built a 50-run partnership for the seventh wicket with AP Vasisht adding 18 and E Sen hitting 30 with a spate of wickets. Mayank Dagar’s late push took them to a final score of 143. Mohit Avasthi and Tanush both finished with three wickets.
Prithvi’s early departure added to the stress, but Mumbai reached the 50-run mark at the end of the seventh over with the openers back in the pavilion.
Vaibhav Arora and Mayank Dagar hauled them back from 69 for three losses to 110 for five. As wickets continued to fall, experienced Shreyas Iyer went cheaply. At one end, Sarfaraz Khan stood tall.
Sarfaraz, the domestic cricket don bradman, led the chase, and it was down to 23 runs off the final two. He scored 17 off the penultimate over, reducing the equation to a run a ball. Mumbai won the final thanks to a six from the standout with the ball, Kotian.
Chin up, Rishi and CO.
They played with their hearts and fought like warriors, and as underdogs, they entertained us. They can take a lot of heart from their show throughout the tournament. Mind you they were undefeated until the final with their opening two games getting washed out.
On their toad to the final they caused some upsets by defeating Saurashtra, Baroda, and Punjab. Rishi Dhawan can be a proud man as they have shown the world what they are capable of.