T20 Mumbai League 2019: Prabhu and Tare chase 148 in just 11.2 overs to keep Thane Strikers' playoffs dream alive

Eagle Thane Strikers skipper Aditya Tare and all-rounder Rakesh Prabhu’s chased down 148 in under 12 overs against Bandra Blasters to stay alive in T20 Mumbai Season 2

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Years after hitting a famous six in an improbable chase at the Wankhede to take his team through to the playoffs, Eagle Thane Strikers skipper Aditya Tare witnessed something similar, as his team, aided by his and all-rounder Rakesh Prabhu’s brilliance chased down 148 in under 12 overs against Bandra Blasters to stay alive in T20 Mumbai Season 2.   

Having been put in to bat, the Blasters’ openers looked in good early in the inning and picked up 17 off the first two overs. However, in the third over a brilliant ploy worked to perfection as pacer Aishwary Surve bowled a delivery angling down the leg side and in-form batsman Eknath Kerkar hit it straight to the fielder at short fine leg to get the Eagles their first breakthrough.

Spinner Sagar Mishra got his team another wicket in the very next over, dismissing opener Prasad Pawar after catching him on his pads right in front of the stumps. Captain Shreyas Iyer was the next batsman to walk in and played some typically stylish shots and forged a 39-run partnership with Shrideep Mangela to get his team’s inning back on track.

But an inside out shot from the skipper did not travel the distance and fielder Surve took a fantastic running catch in the deep to dismiss Iyer with the scoreboard reading 25. Post the skipper’s departure, Mangela and new batsman Nikhil Patil counter-punched and smashed 30 off the following three over, before the latter was dismissed by Alpesh Ramjani in the 14th over after some good behind the stumps from skipper Aditya Tare.

The following two overs yielded 20 runs for the Blasters, but they also lost a couple of crucial wickets which in turn made it difficult for the teams’ tailenders to score runs in the final four overs. Sujit Nayak waged a lone battle for his team in the death overs and scored 26 off 18 to help his team finish with 148-7.

The Eagle Thane Strikers needed to chase the total down in under 12 overs to stand a chance to qualify for the semis and they got to the worst possible start as Karsh Kothari dismissed Jaideep Pardeshi in the first over after a well-thought outfield setting from the Blasters.

Ramjani and Tare, however, continued to take the game to the Blasters and smashed 46 off the next four overs to keep their team in the hunt. Ramjani mistimed his lofted attempt over short fine leg and skied the ball straight to the fielder, but the dismissal turned out to be a blessing in disguise as that brought Rakesh Prabhu to the crease who played the inning of his life.

He started off relatively slow, scoring just 15 off his first 10 deliveries with Tare doing the bulk of the scoring for the Strikers, but in the eighth over, Prabhu took over and smashed three sixes off three deliveries to turn the tide of the contest.

He repeated that feat in the subsequent over to bring up his 50 in just 18 balls, the fastest this season, and captain Tare, who was a mere spectator for the last two overs, hit a six and a boundary in the 11th over to bring up his 50 as well and leave the Strikers needing just 11 runs.

Tare dismissal on the penultimate ball of the 11th over gave the Strikers a scare, but Prabhu finished the game with a six and a four off the first two deliveries of the 12th over and keep the Strikers hopes of a semi-final berth intact.  

Brief Score:

Eagle Thane Strikers (Rakesh Prabhu 64*, Aditya Tare 50, Aditya Dhumal 2-29) beat Bandra Blasters (Shrideep Mangela 42, Shreyas Iyer 25, Kruthik Hanagavadi 2-33) by seven wickets.

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