Shreyas Iyer scored an unbeaten half-century (53 n.o., 47b, 5×4, 1×6) and led his team to a convincing eight-wicket win against Delhi in a Group B Super League match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Emerald Heights International School ground here on Saturday.
Once Delhi capitulated to Tushar Deshpande’s incisive second spell, it was hard-pressed to post a challenging total.
With two losses in as many matches, the last year’s winner, Delhi, has virtually ruled itself out of a place in the final, especially with Karnataka picking up four more points with a 10-run win against Uttar Pradesh at the Holkar Stadium. It was Karnataka’s ninth straight win in the tournament.
Under immense pressure to repel the Karnataka seam and spin attack in the opening league match on Friday, Shreyas had fallen prey to seamer Manoj Bhandage, but in the second match, the Mumbai captain chose the safe option with his team in pursuit of a target of 145.
The arrival of senior professional in Suryakumar Yadav after the downfall of opener Jay Bista perked up the run rate, and in the end, Shreyas hit the match-winning boundary and brought cheer to his teammates.
Shreyas and Mumbai took the bold decision to effect three changes from the side that went down to Karnataka. It brought in Bista, Eknath Kerkar and Royston Dias for Siddesh Lad, Aditya Tare and Dhawal Kulkarni.
Bista, who was picked in the squad for the injured Ajinkya Rahane, played his part. After Prithvi Shaw chipped a straightforward catch to mid-on fielder Lalit Yadav off Navdeep Saini, Bista helped Shreyas add 57 for the second wicket in a cautious manner.
After Bista’s departure, Suryakumar looked for the big shots, hit Saini for two sixes — over mid-wicket and straight — and made a 26-ball 42. He also raised an unbeaten partnership of 76 for the third wicket. Eventually Mumbai won with six balls remaining.
In the first match at Emerald Heights, Maharashtra scored a seven-wicket win against Bengal with Rahul Tripathi scoring a half-century.
Group A: Bengal 138 for seven in 20 overs (Manoj Tiwary 41, Shahbaz Ahmed 60 n.o., Dominic Muthuswami three for 15, Satyajeet Bachaav two for 34) lost to Maharashtra 139 for three in 17.1 overs (Rahul Tripathi 60, Rohit Motwani 36, Akash Deep two for 21).
Railways 135 for eight in 20 overs (Pratham Singh 41, Prashanth Awasthi 25, Rahul Shukla two for 18) lost to Jharkhand 136 for five in 19 overs (Anand Singh 53,Virat Singh 50 n.o., Harsh Tyagi two for 25).
Group B: Delhi 144 for seven in 20 overs (Dhruv Shorey 33, Lalit Yadav 33, Tushar Deshpande four for 18) lost to Mumbai 148 for two in 19 overs (Jay Bista 39, Shreyas Iyer 53 n.o., Suryakumar Yadav 42 n.o.).
Karnataka 149 for six in 20 overs (Rohan Kadam 35, Mayank Agarwal 33, Manoj Bhandage 25) bt Uttar Pradesh 139 for eight in 20 overs (Aksh Deep Nath 46, Upendra Yadav 42, Vasuki Koushik three for 22, Jagadeesha Suchith two for 19).