Veteran batsman Wasim Jaffer played a perfect innings in a modest chase as Mumbai outclassed Delhi by six wickets to enter quarter-final of the National One Day Championship for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Mumbai will meet defending champions Karnataka in the quarter-finals.
Mumbai captain Suryakumar Yadav won a good toss and his bowlers responded brilliantly, bowling out Delhi for 157 in 42.3 overs. Virender Sehwag (9) and Gautam Gambhir (22) ‘s saga of failures continued as Delhi never looked like being in the match.
In reply, Mumbai maintained a steady tempo without taking undue risks, courtesy Jaffer as he struck an unbeaten 83 off 87 balls to take his team to victory in 30.3 overs. His customary on-drives were a treat to watch as all the bowlers including the seasoned Ashish Nehra were guilty of bowling on his pads.
Jaffer’s innings had 11 boundaries and a six and his sequence of scores in the tournament now read: 83, 37, 84, 60 and 83 no.
“Whatever remaining years I have in first-class cricket, I would like to continue scoring runs. After having played Test cricket, it is important to have the motivation to continue doing well in first class. I still have the motivation to perform for Mumbai,” a pragmatic Jaffer said at the end of the match.
The 9am start did help the Mumbai bowlers as there was a bit of assistance from the pitch, complemented by good bounce.
Unmukt Chand (6) tried to glance Shardul Thakur and was caught down the leg side by Aditya Tare — a decision that didn’t make the batsman happy. Unmukt has failed to total 50 after six matches.
Sehwag (9) did hit a couple of boundaries off pacers. An on-drive and a pull had Sehwag signature all over it but Thakur squared up the legend with one that moved a shade and took an outside edge straight into Surya’s hands in the slips.
Gambhir (22) hit a few boundaries before he perished due to age-old technical malaise of trying the dab shot down third-man off Wilkin Mota only to find Tare taking an outstanding diving catch.
Milind Kumar (64 off 94 balls) was the highest scorer but he consumed far too many balls and the number of dot balls that he played only increased the pressure. Rajat Bhatia (12) was run-out while Puneet Bisht (12) played an irresponsible aerial sweep shot off Akhil Herwadkar.
In the end, 158 wasn’t a big target and Mumbai cruised to the target with ease.
Brief Scores: Delhi 157 in 42.3 overs (Milind Kumar 64, Shardul Tahkur 3/25) Mumbai 158/4 (Wasim Jaffer 83 no, Akhil Herwadkar 30) Mumbai win by 6 wkts.
Quarter-final: Karnataka vs Mumbai.
Harbhajan leads Punjab to quarters
Captain Harbhajan Singh led from the front with an all-round effort as Punjab coasted to a comfortable 29-run win against Gujarat in the pre-quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament.
Punjab will meet Railways in the quarter-finals. Put into bat at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground, Punjab rode fine fifties from Amitoze Singh (75), Gurkeerat Singh Mann (72) and Harbhajan (51 off 25 balls) to post a respectable 255 for eight in 50 overs.
In reply, Gujarat batsmen failed to capitalise on their starts as Punjab pace spearhead Sandeep Sharma, who bagged 3 wickets, helped bundle out the Parthiv Patel-led side for 226 in 47.3 overs.
It were the Punjab batsmen who made it count after opener Manan Vohra (6), No.3 Mandeep Singh (1) and two-down Yuvraj Singh (17) were out early.
Bhajji not only registered his second List A half-century but also scored at a staggering strike-rate of 204. His 25-ball knock was laced with 2 fours and 6 huge sixes.
Brief Scores: Punjab 255/8 in 50 overs (Amitoze Singh 75, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 72, Harbhajan Singh 51; Rush Kalaria 3-55, Rohit Dahiya 2-46) Gujarat 226 all out in 4.3 overs (Rujul Bhatt 53, Priyank Kirit Panchal 38, Rujul Bhatt 31; Sandeep Sharma 3-39, Siddharth Kaul 2-43, Harbhajan Singh 2-51, Yuvraj Singh 2-21).