Maharashtra thump Mumbai in Vijay Hazare Trophy, reach knockouts

Left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar was the star performer for Maharashtra with a five-wicket haul Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

MUMBAI: Feb 27, 2012

Maharashtra clinched a thrilling 15-run victory against Mumbai on Sunday when the two teams met in the last West Zone one-day match being played for the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Wankhede Stadium.

The visitors not only defeated Mumbai in their den, but by virtue of their win, but also qualified to play in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Mumbai were without regular skipper Ajit Agarkar, and were playing under the stand-in captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane. After winning the toss and electing to field, Dhawal Kulkarni had opener Harshad Khadiwale caught off wicket-keeper Sushant Marathe for 1 in the very first over.

Mumbai bagged two more wickets, but the middle-order batsmen showed great determination. Ankit Bawne (93*) and Sangram Atitkar (54) formed an 89-run partnership, which eventually helped Maharashtra post a challenging total of 252 for eight in 50 overs.

However, Mumbai s top order woes continued as once again, they failed to produce results. By the end of the 26th over, more than half the players returned to the pavilion, with a paltry score of 130. The lower order though, fought bravely as Iqbal Abdulla (52) and Ankit Chavan were involved in a 91-run partnership to give Mumbai some hope.

But, a five-wicket haul from left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar brought Maharashtra back in the game and helped them register a crucial victory against the hosts.