Shaw shines before Tare guides Mumbai home
Mumbai won the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Sunday to somewhat repair a truncated domestic season. Reduced to a laughing stock in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Trophy - they had lost four of their five league matches, including to minnows Puducherry and Kerala, while playing at home - Mumbai bagged this 50-over competition in some style.
In the final at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, Mumbai overcame a spirited Uttar Pradesh (UP) to win by six wickets and claim their fourth title. Chasing a challenging target of 313, senior batsman Aditya Tare and captain Prithvi Shaw were the star performers. Tare anchored the innings with a stylish unbeaten 118 (4x18). The platform for the chase though was set by a 39-ball 73 from Shaw who finished with a tournament record tally of 827 runs.
Their efforts eclipsed a good show by UP opener Madhav Kaushik who made an unbeaten 158 (156 balls, 4x15, 6x4). UP had started cautiously, preserving wickets for a late assault and scored 111 runs in the last 10 overs to finish on 312/4.
In big chases, a quick start is often the key. It alleviates pressure by preventing the run rate from soaring. Shaw ensured exactly that. He smashed 10 fours and four sixes as Mumbai’s first fifty came in 35 balls. Opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal was a spectator as Shaw took apart the new ball attack. UP’s opening bowlers Yash Dayal and Aaqib Khan leaked nine an over in their early spells.
Shaw started with three fours off Aaqib in the innings’ second over before smashing Dayal for two fours and one six in a 15-run over. After sixth overs, Mumbai were 54 for no loss and Shaw on 40 off 24 balls.
UP captain Karan Sharma brought on left-arm spinner Shivam Sharma in a bid to stop Shaw but he drove the first ball for four and moved to 44. In Sharma’s next over, the diminutive opener hit two sixes and a four to plunder 17 runs.
First-change Shivam Mavi gave the breakthrough UP needed getting Shaw caught in the deep off a well-directed bouncer. Mumbai were 89/1 after 9.1 and with 224 still to get, UP fancied their chances. Jaiswal went next on 29. He had hit three fours in the sixth over but trying to match Shaw, the left-hander threw his wicket and Mumbai were 127/2.
If UP’s hopes had risen, they were dashed by the senior pro Tare’s sensible batting. The keeper-batsman was also in good touch, hitting delectable fours all around the park on way to his first hundred in the tournament. With left-handed Shams Mulani (36 runs off 43balls), Tare added 98 runs to take Mumbai to 215. When UP broke the partnership in the 31st over, Tare put the pressure back on the bowlers with three successive fours in the 33rd over, off Dayal, to move from 73 to 85. At the other end, burly all-rounder Shivam Dube came out and played some big hits (42 off 28 balls) to make it a no-contest.