Yashasvi Jaiswal © T20 Mumbai League press release
Yashasvi Jaiswal © T20 Mumbai League press release

North Mumbai Panthers opened their account on the points table with a five-wicket win over Shivaji Park Lions in the T20 Mumbai League on Thursday. Batting first, Lions scored 135 runs for nine wickets under difficult batting conditions. Panthers struggled with the chase early on but found a way due to some brilliant batting from 16-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal. Jaiswal smashed 69 runs off 43 balls with the help of five fours and three sixes to ensure Panthers’ kept their hopes of a playoff berth alive.

Jaiswal stitched together a 96–run partnership with stand-in skipper Yogesh Takawale that got the Panthers close to the target. Jaiswal turned the game in Panthers’ favour with three consecutive sixes off Royston Dias, which brought the equation down to 12 required off 12 balls from 33 required off 18.

Despite Trivedi dismissing Takawale and Jaiswal in the space of three balls, Yogesh Pawar hit an important six in the same over to ensure there was no late drama.

Lions struggled to get momentum during their innings on a sticky wicket. With overcast conditions around, the new ball swung, and Shivam Malhotra and Rakesh Prabhu made good use of those conditions for Panthers. Except for Siddharth Akre, none of the Lions batsmen could get going during the first half of the Lions’ innings.

Saeed Shaikh then ran through the Lions’ middle-order with a spell of 4-18. It was only because of Akre at No 3, and some late heroics from Raunaq Sharma and Shams Mulani that Lions were able to post a respectable total. Akre was one of only three Lions’ batsmen to have a strike rate in excess of 100. His 39 came off 32 balls, and included five fours and a six.

Sharma smashed 28 from 16 balls with the help of three fours and a six, while Mulani’s 13-ball 18 included one four. Sharma and Mulani added 27 runs in three overs for the sixth wicket.

Apart from Shaikh, Shivam Malhotra turned out to be a star performer with the ball for Panthers. He took two wickets for just 14 runs in his four overs.

Brief score: 

Shivaji Park Lions 135 for 9 in 20 overs (Siddharth Akre 39, Raunaq Sharma 28, Saeed Shaikh 4-18, Shivam Malhotra 2-14) lost to North Mumbai Panthers 138 for 5 in 19.4 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 69, Yogesh Takawale 23, Sagar Trivedi 2-26, Siddharth Raut 2-19) by five wickets.