Overcoming Wednesday's 0 for 5 debacle, Mumbai registered an astounding 63-run victory against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy semifinal here on Thursday to reach the final after a gap of two years.
Starting the day at 109 for seven, the Mumbai tail added 36 more runs to set Baroda a stiff 237-run target. The hosts crumbled under constant pressure from a consistent Mumbai pace attack to be skittled out for 173.
Wilkin Mota (3-36) and Abhishek Nair (3-38) were the most successful bowlers for Mumbai. Baroda openers Connor Williams (13) and Satyajit Parab (17) came out all guns blazing. With 30 on the board in the first seven overs, Mumbai skipper Amol Muzumdar threw the ball to Nair. And the all-rounder - as he has done in many times in this season already - provided the initial breakthrough, Williams edging the last delivery of his first over to wicketkeeper Vinayak Samant. In the very next over, Rajesh Verma removed Parab to reduce Baroda to 30 for two.
With a victory in sight, the bowlers pulled up their socks and started applying more pressure on the Baroda batsmen. With four pace bowlers in his arsenal, skipper Muzumdar utilised each in short, effective bursts.
Rakesk Solanki (22) and skipper Jacob Martin (9) added 33 runs for the third wicket, before both perished with the total at 63. And when Mota forced wicketkeeper Pinal Shah (14) to edge one to Samant in the 28th over, Baroda's hopes rested on the Pathan brothers — Irfan and Yousuf.
Both brothers started attacking with Yousuf, like his blistering 70 in the first innings, whacking anything and everything that came his way. Irfan too got into the act and hit left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni over long-off for a huge six.
However, Swapnil Hazare did the trick removing both brothers in the same over. While Yousuf hit the first ball of the over straight to Nair at mid-on, Irfan mis-timed a pull off the last ball to Rohit Sharma at square-leg.
Rajesh Pawar (22) and Ketan Panchal (25) then played some attractive strokes but could only delay the inevitable.