Delhi’s bullish seven-match unbeaten run from the league phase came to a rude halt on Saturday with a massive 140-run defeat at the hands of Mumbai in the semifinal on Saturday. Mumbai posed a massive 295 and then bowled Delhi out for 155 in 45 overs.
For the visitors,Wasim Jaffer oozed grace,picking gaps and timing shots with utmost respect to the cricketing manuals while Abhishek Nayar preferred bulldozing the bowlers with sheer power and innovation. Jaffer’s calculated 92 and Nayar’s unbeaten rapid-fire 72 though,had the same demoralising impact on Delhi,who were handicapped by Ashish Nehra’s injury just before the death overs. The home side ended up conceding 110 runs in the final 10 and sorely missed the maturity of Mithun Manhas who missed the semi-final with back spasms during the chase.
The heavily rolled pitch ensured the toss wouldn’t be the deciding factor in the semifinal as Mumbai batted first. Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane added 28 off the first ten,as Nehra and Awana maintained a tight line. Mumbai opened up with the introduction of Pradeep Sangwan,who was promptly taken off and it took left-arm spinner Varun Sood to have Rahane stumped for 42,in an opening stand of 72.
Stepping up the pace
After reaching his half-century with a six off part-timer Jagrit Anand,Jaffer stepped up,hitting a flurry of boundaries,including four consecutive boundaries off Sood. Jaffer was out leg before for 92,trying to paddle Awana. However,when Nehra landed awkwardly to hurt his back and ankle to end his day having bowled just 6.5 overs for 18,it allowed Mumbai to get away at the slog.
Awana and Sangwan bowled on both sides of the wicket,as Delhi went for 13 boundaries and three sixes in the backend. Abhishek Nayar hit two outrageous sixes off Awana,and with some help from Ajit Agarkar took Mumbai to a healthy 295 on a low scoring venue.
For a change,it was the chasing team that reeled at 58/5,with Unmukt,Mohit Sharma,Punit Bisht and Rajat Bhatia getting out to tame dismissals. Part-time off-spinner Revendkar returned with figures of 3 for 35 while Kshemal Waigankar claimed two upfront,including that of Shikhar Dhawan that virtually sealed the contest. Jagrit Anand scored a half-century that prolonged Delhi’s misery with a 74 run partnership with Yogesh Nagar. The pair got out in quick succession,as Iqbal Abdullah polished off the tail.
Brief scores: Mumbai 295/5 (Wasim Jaffer 92,Ajinkya Rahane 42,Abhishek Nayar 72 n.o.,Parvinder Awana 2/76) bt Delhi 155 all out in 45 overs (Shikhar dhawan 34,Jagrit Anand 51,Anup Revendkar 3/37,Iqbal Abdullah 2/35,Kshemal Waigankar 2/15).