Sarfaraz Khan’s cameo powers Mumbai to first-ever Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy title | Cricket News


KOLKATA: Domestic giants Mumbai have their hands on the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, the elusive silverware missing from their bulging cabinet, defeated Himachal Pradesh by three wickets in the summit clash here on Saturday.
Mumbai’s bowlers were right on the money as spinner Tanush Kotain (3/15) and medium pacer Mohit Avasthi (3/21) shared six wickets between them to restrict Himachal Pradesh to 143 for eight.
Chasing the modest target, Mumbai have had their share of hiccups before Sarfaraz Khan again showed what he is capable of with a timely unbeaten 36-run cameo from 31 balls to help his side cross the line with three balls to spare.
There was not one player who blinded in the summit clash.
Electing to field, Mohit drew first blood by striking early and getting rid of Himachal wicketkeeper Ankush Bains (4) and Sumeet Verma (8) within the first five overs.
The spinner Tanush (3/15) then turned the game on its head with two consecutive wickets in the eighth over.
Nikhil Gangta (22), who looked in good touch, was Tanush’s first victim when he tried to whip a back delivery for a boundary but the ball failed to gain the required height with Aman Hakim Khan taking a took a good catch at deep mid-wicket. .
Impact player Nitin Sharma was the next to go as he departed for a first ball duck with Himachal slipping to 51 for 4 which became 52 for 5 in the next over.
Himachal lower order consisting of Akash Vasisht (25), Ekant Sen (37) and Mayank Dangar (21 not out) added 91 runs but failed to cross the 150-run mark.
Medium pacer Rishi Dhawan (2/26) defended a modest total and built a beautiful spell to get rid of big-hitting Prithvi Shaw (11) and skipper Ajinkya Rahane (1), who were previously leg-trapped.
Yashasvi Jaiswal (27) and Shreyas Iyer (34) stopped the innings, but spinner Mayank Dagar (2/24) broke the 41-run partnership when the former cut the ball to the deep-cover fielder.
Iyer, who smashed four boundaries and a six, then joined hands with Sarfaraz, but as soon as the partnership began to gather momentum, Vaibhav Arora (3/27) changed the complexion of the game and claimed the former’s wicket.
Led by Arora, Himachal bowlers then staged a mini-batting collapse as Mumbai were suddenly down to 119 for 7.
As wickets kept falling at the other end, Sarfaraz kept calm and went about his work in silence.
Ignored time and again by national selectors, Sarfaraz silenced his opponents while showing extreme awareness and ability to execute shots.
With Mumbai needing 23 off the last 12 balls, Sarfaraz smashed two fours and a maximum off the penultimate over to tilt the game in Mumbai’s favour.
In the last over, Tanush collected two runs from the first ball, while the second delivery was a spot, increasing the pressure.
But Tanush sent a short delivery over the fence, sending the Mumbai team into a frenzy and Himachal Pradesh into despair.


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