Mumbai T20 League: Blasters seal play-off spot in style, knock Panthers out
Mumbai: NaMo Bandra Blasters sealed their spot in the play-offs of the T20 Mumbai League in style, beating North Mumbai Panthers by 10 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
After being asked to bowl first, Blasters reduced Panthers to 125 for 9 in 20 overs. It was a strong bowling performance from Blasters with Azhar Ansari, Pravin Tambe, Atul Singh and Karsh Kothari taking a couple of wickets each.
Blasters’ openers Shreyas Iyer and Eknath Kerkar made short work of the target with top quality batting. Iyer scored his fourth half-century of the tournament, finishing unbeaten on 71. Kerkar remained unbeaten on 50, as Blasters crossed the finish line in 11.3 overs.
Once the duo had smashed 69 runs in the Power-play overs for Blasters, the game was well and truly over as a contest. Iyer’s 71 came from 34 balls and included eight fours and three sixes. Kerkar’s 36-ball 50 included four fours and three sixes.
The loss meant Panthers are out of reckoning for a spot in play-offs. It also sealed Shivaji Park Lions’ place in the play-offs, irrespective of the result of their last league game against SoBo Supersonics later on Sunday.
The North Mumbai Panthers’ batting failed at the most crucial stage of the tournament. Openers Yogesh Takawale and Shrideep Mangela gave the Panthers a decent start actually, putting on 41 for the first wicket in 5.1 overs.
But the Takawale-led unit were reduced to 49 for 3 from 41 for none in the space of 15 balls with Azhar Ansari striking twice. The Blasters kept taking wickets at regular intervals from there on, as none of the Panthers’ batsman could cross the 30-run mark. Lack of partnerships meant the Panthers couldn’t get the momentum to accelerate in the last five overs.
To their credit, Blasters bowled with a lot of accuracy to make sure there were no easy runs on offer. Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe continued his good run in the tournament with a spell of 2-16 from three overs. Atul Singh was equally good with his medium pace, finishing with figures of 2-20 from his four overs.
Dinesh Salunkhe (13) and Saeed Shaikh (17) helped Panthers get past the 120-run mark. But that was well below par in the end, considering the conditions and the opposition.
Brief score: North Mumbai Panthers 125 for 9 in 20 overs (Sairaj Patil 26, Yogesh Takawale 23, Pravin Tambe 2-16, Atul Singh 2-20) lost to Namo Bandra Blasters 126 for none in 11.3 overs (Shreyas Iyer 71 not out, Eknath Kerkar 50 not out) by 10 wickets