There were two reasons for the hype around the Mumbai-Karnataka game in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament on Tuesday. The sides were evenly matched but it was expected to give Rohit Sharma an opportunity to bat before leaving for the Asia Cup, having sat out most of the games in Australia. But neither happened as Mumbai chased down 179 with nine wickets in hand, which meant Rohit's services weren't needed.
It was another game where the side that won the toss fielded first and chased easily. Mumbai skipper Ajit Agarkar struck first blood in his third over, trapping Mayank Agarwal in front.
The five batsmen who came after Agarwal also never looked comfortable on a track which Karnataka captain Robin Uthappa said played like two different pitches.
"It behaved like we were playing on two different wickets while batting and bowling. When we batted, it was two-paced and not an easy one but when our turn to bowl came it just became flat," he said.
Uthappa also said it wasn't an ideal one-day wicket. "If it had been a four-day game, it is a good track. But I have my doubts about it in the shorter format."
Karnataka, from six down for 57, managed to add 122 more thanks to a 73-run stand for the seventh wicket between Sunil Raju and Raju Bhatkal.
For Mumbai, Kshemal Waingankar was the pick of the bowlers, grabbing three wickets in his ten overs which he bowled on the trot.
Mumbai openers Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane ensured the semifinal passage would be smooth. Jaffer played the role of the attacker while Rahane stayed till the end, sealing victory with wicketkeeper Sushant Marathe.
Brief scores: Karnataka 178/9 in 50 overs (Bhatkal 38; Waingankar 3/19) lost to Mumbai 179/1 in 29.1 overs (Rahane 71 not out; Jaffer 68)