Debutants Aakash Tigers beat Suryakumar-led defending champions by 5 wickets in T20 Mumbai League opener
Triumphs Knights skipper Suryakumar Yadav in full flow yesterday
When it’s one man’s performance against a team effort, the latter usually wins. And that’s exactly what happened at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday, when skipper Suryakumar Yadav’s Triumphs Knights Mumbai North East went down to the Dhawal Kulkarni-led Aakash Tigers Mumbai Western Suburbs in the inaugural match of the T20 Mumbai League. The Tigers beat the defending champions by five wickets with three balls to spare.
Surya, the lone ranger
Just a day earlier, the in-form Suryakumar was celebrating his Indian Premier League team, Mumbai Indians’s fourth title. However, yesterday, despite a fine performance by him — he scored an unbeaten 90 off 56 balls (7×6, 4×4) — his team could not begin the tournament on a winning note. Suryakumar, who won the toss and elected to bat, came to the crease when his team were in a spot of bother, at 25 for two. He began cautiously and took a good 31 deliveries before hitting his first six — a inside out shot to left-arm spinner Shams Mulani. He hit six more thereafter to dominate the innings.
Aakash Tigers’s Aakarshit Gomel en route his 29-ball 41 at Wankhede yesterday. Pics/Suresh Karkera
All-rounder Arjun shines
In contrast, it was a total team effort that won the game for the Tigers. First, their pacers Anjdeep Lad (2-12) and Minad Manjrekar (1-48), Dhawal (1-23) and Arjun Tendulkar (1-21) bowled in tandem to restrict the Knights to below 150. The young Arjun in particular, had a good outing, showcasing his all-round ability on his debut for the Tigers. The left-arm pacer got the first wicket of the day, Knights’s opener Karan Shah (14 off 16), who skied the ball over square-leg, where he was pouched by Aakarshit Gomel.
Arjun then returned to make a handy 19-ball 23 (1×6, 1×4) as his team chased down the Knights’s 147-6. Before that though, it was the Knights’s openers, Aakarshit Gomel (41) and Kaustubh Pawar (34), who set things up, with a 67-run opening stand off just 8.2 overs. Thereafter, Siddharth Akre (19), Subramanian Doraiswamy (14 not out) and Yogesh Pawar (10 not out) saw their team through.
SoBo SuperSonics’s Parag Khanapurkar during his 96 against Arcs Andher
Khanapurkar guides SoBo to 48-run win over Arcs
In the day’s second match, SoBo Supersonics, riding on Parag Khanapurkar’s 96 beat Arcs Andheri by 48 runs. The SoBo side put a mammoth 188 for five as left-hander Khanapurkar smashed five sixes and 10 fours during his 49-ball knock. Khanapurkar shared a 118-run stand off 77 balls for the third wicket with Mansingh Nigade (33 off 41 balls). In reply, none of the Andheri batsman really got going except for opener Sufiyan Shaikh who made a 26-ball 30. The Arcs ended up on 140 for nine off their 20 overs.