T20 Mumbai League: Shams Mulani, Arjun Tendulkar take Aakash Tigers home
While Tendulkar got the team off the blocks, Mulani’s lusty blows and his unbroken 84-run partnership with Suryansh Shedge saw the Tigers overhauling the target with six wickets and four balls to spare.
Mulani with his left-arm spin put the brakes on a dangerous Panthers’ opening partnership that was running away with the game early on before Tendulkar’s timely blows with his left-arm pace restricted the Panthers – in the absence of captain Prithvi Shaw who suffered an injury on Sunday – to 169 for six.
While Tendulkar got the team off the blocks, Mulani’s lusty blows and his unbroken 84-run partnership with Suryansh Shedge (27* off 24) saw the Tigers overhauling the target with six wickets and four balls to spare.
With Shaw unable to recover, opener Vikrant Auti walked out for the toss. And the stand-in captain justified his decision to bat with a rocket start in the company of debutant Vishal Dhagaonkar (46 off 26). So stunning was the left- and right-hand onslaught that the Tigers captain Dhawal Kulkarni had to make frequent bowling changes.
The 94-run stand was finally broken with Mulani enticing Dhagaonkar into holing one out to deep mid-wicket. Tendulkar and captain Kulkarni then further pegged the Panthers back, conceding just 36 runs in the last five overs. Tendulkar was rewarded with three vital scalps that broke the Panthers’ middle-order.
However, the Tigers couldn’t really continue the momentum with the willow, losing wickets frequently in the first half. As a result, when Mulani replaced Tendulkar at the crease, the Tigers were reeling at 57 for three, needing 113 runs off 73 balls.
Despite losing D. Subramanian in the 12th over, the gutsy Mulani then found an able ally in Shedge.
While Shedge focused on rotating strike, Mulani showed his big-hitting prowess – clearing the boundary at will to keep Tigers in the hunt. With 22 required from the last two overs, Shedge’s straight four brought the equation down to nine in the last over. With Mulani on strike, it required just two balls for the in-form leftie as a six over wide long-on followed by a four off veteran leggie Pravin Tambe sealed the deal for Tigers.
Brief scores:Aakash Tigers MWS 171/4 in 19.2 overs (Shams Mulani 60*, Arjun Tendulkar 28, Suryansh Shedge 27*, D. Subramanian 26) beat North Mumbai Panthers 169/6 in 20 overs (Vikrant Auti 52, Vishal Dhagaonkar 46, Karan Nande 25; Arjun Tendulkar 3/27) by 6 wickets
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