T20 Mumbai League 2019: Shams Mulani guides Aakash Tigers MNS to a six-wicket win

Batting first, the Panthers were off to a terrific start, as openers Vikrant Auti and Vishal Dhagaonkar made full use of the field restrictions and smashed 29 off the first three overs

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An extraordinary effort with the bat from all-rounder Shams Mulani helped the Aakash Tigers Mumbai Western Suburbs beat the North Mumbai Panthers by six wickets in the afternoon game at the Wankhede on Monday.

Batting first, the Panthers were off to a terrific start, as openers Vikrant Auti and Vishal Dhagaonkar made full use of the field restrictions and smashed 29 off the first three overs. The pair continued their assault on the Tigers’ bowling attack through the second half of the powerplay as well, scoring 37 to finish with 66 at the end of six.

The two continued to score at a brisk rate and picked up 24 off the next two, but in the ninth, Dhagaonkar skied a delivery that ended up straight into the palms of Suryansh Shedge, ending a magnificent opening stand at 94.

The dismissal calmed the scoring rate and the Panthers managed only eight off the next two overs and in his attempts of trying to accelerate the flow of runs, stand-in skipper Auti tried to take on spinner Salman Khan but ended up hitting the ball straight to fielder in the deep ending his inning of 52 off 37 deliveries.  

All-rounder Karan Nande and Sairaj Patil scored 24 off the next three overs to get their team back on track, but two brilliant overs from Arjun Tendulkar in which he picked up three scalps and gave away just 14 runs completely changed the tide of the inning as the Panthers eventually finished with 169-6.

In reply, openers Tendulkar and Aakarshit Gomel got their team off to a flyer, scoring 40 off the first four overs, however, in the fifth, the latter perished after he skied a delivery trying to clear the infield, handing the Panthers their first breakthrough.

The Tigers pulled off a surprise move and sent all-rounder Nehal Katakdhond in to bat, but the gamble did not pay off as he was dismissed after scoring just three. In the very next over, Tendulkar took on Auti and tried to hit him straight down the ground for a six, but his shot did not have enough legs and ended up in the palms of fielder Sairaj Patil.

All-rounder Shams Mulani and Doraiswamy Subramanian conjured a 29-run partner before the latter was caught pad first in line by Rahul Sawant and was adjudged out LBW by the umpire with the scoreboard reading 87-4 after 12 overs. After two relatively quiet overs that yielded just 14, Mulani decided to up the ante and smashed two sixes off the final two deliveries of the 15th over to leave his team needing 53 off the final five overs of the contest.

Moondeep Mangela and Atif Attarwala bowled two quality overs, giving away just 12, however, a massive 18th over that yielded 19 runs kept the target well within the reach for the Tigers. While they found just a solitary boundary in the penultimate over, Mulani and partner Suryansh Shedge ran hard and picked up 13 off the over, leaving them just nine to get off the final over.

Mulani, batting on 50, smashed six off the first ball and followed up with a boundary to finish the contest in some style and keep the Tigers’ hopes of a semifinal berth alive.

Brief Score:

Aakash Tigers MWS (Shams Mulani 60, Arjun Tendulkar 28, Rahul Sawant 2-22) beat North Mumbai Panthers (Vikrant Auti 52, Vishal Dhagaonkar 46, Arjun Tendulkar 3-27) by six wickets.

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