Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy: Shubham Ranjane's all-round show floors Bengal
With 19.5 overs bowled in the second innings in the game between Mumbai and Bengal, the encounter still seemed undecided on where it wanted to head.
At that juncture, the sparse crowd in attendance gathered its voice, cheered as Sayan Ghosh ran in and then burst into jubilant applause at Shubham Ranjane’s pyrotechnics.
After all, despite the game being precariously placed, he somehow managed to gather the courage to execute a reverse flick past Shreevats Goswami; a shot that earned his side four runs and, a couple of points, which, in all likelihood, would seal a place in the next phase of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 competition.
Earlier in the day, Bengal had started promisingly with their openers rattling away to 29 runs off 3 overs. Goswami continued on his merry way before he was dismissed by Dhawal Kulkarni for 43.
Thereafter, the visitors’ big guns, namely Abhimanyu Easwaran and Manoj Tiwary failed to get into the groove, meaning that the bulk of the heavy lifting had to be done by Vivek Singh, who popped up with a half-century.
In the end, though, Shahbaz Ahmed pulled out an array of strokes to propel Bengal to a par-score of 153, a target that didn’t send shockwaves among the Mumbai faithful but was one they were slightly wary of. For Mumbai, Ranjane bagged three wickets while Kulkarni accounted for the other wicket to fall.
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In reply, the hosts started in blistering fashion with Aditya Tare and Jay Bista putting on a fifty-run stand. Akin to Bengal’s innings though, once the openers departed, Mumbai found it tough to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The home side managed to self-destruct through the middle overs as they lost Tare and Shreyas Iyer in the same over to Shahbaz whereas they again gave away two wickets in the same over when Arnab Nandi sent Siddhesh Lad and Shivam Dube packing.
Consequently, the onus fell on Suryakumar Yadav and Ranjane to guide the team home. And, though the former perished in the cause in the 20th over, the latter ensured Mumbai pulled off a nail-biting victory to consign Bengal to their 2nd loss of the group stages.