Kapali seals victory for the Warriors
Alok Kapali hit an unbeaten 48 to steer the Dhaka Warriors to a 6 wickets victory over the winless Mumbai Champs at the Teri Oval in Gurgaon.
In the end it was the boys from Dhaka who easily crossed the 152 run target by 6 wickets and 8 balls to spare, keeping them in contention of a semi final berth. Alok Kapali was declared man of the match. Earlier in the evening Habib Ul Bashar won the toss and elected to field.
The Mumbai side opened with a new combination of stand in skipper Dheeraj Jadhav & Subhojit Paul, who came out with a positive intent, taking the score to 23 for no loss at the end of the third over. The Dhaka Warriors came back strongly with Tapash Baisya packing back the opposition skipper Jadhav, cheaply for 10 the 4th over.
The 5th over mark had both the openers back in the Mumbai Champs dugout & the scorecard reading 38/2. Paulís wicket had the two experienced internationals Taufeeq Umer & Hasan Raza battle it out for the Mumbai Champs; some percentage strokes had the Mumbai Champs Score undergo a bit of a resurrection at 60/2 at the end of the 8th over.
Some fine spin bowling from the old warhorse Rafique and the in form Kapali had the strangles on the Mumbai scoring at the half way mark of the innings; reading 64/2. The pressure was building on the batsmen, resulting in the run out of Hasan Raza in the 11th over ending the 39 run partnership for the 3rd wicket.
The performance of Kapali & Rafique encouraged Bashar to introduce his third spinner in form of the talented Mosharraf in the 12th over who struck with the two important scalps of Powar & Khanolkar to leave the Champs in deep trouble at 77/5 in the 13th over.
The Mumbai cause was not helped with Kapali getting the big wicket of Taufeeq, trapping him LBW for a laborious 28 runs off 29 balls in the 14th over. The 15th over mark had the disciplined Dhaka warriors bowling coming up with a spot on performance, not giving any extras till that stage of the mark & the Mumbai Champs scorecard reading a dismal 85/6.
Khirid & the inform Van Der Wath were determined to make a match out of the encounter, with especially Khirid playing a wonderful cameo laced with some solid hitting. Khirid brought about his half century in the 20th over off only 24 balls; including 4 fours and same number of sixes.
The 74 run unbeaten partnership for the 7th wicket, that included 40 runs off the last two overs helped Mumbai Champs set the Dhaka Warriors a respectable target of 152.
Three boundaries by the dashing south paw Shahriar Nafees off Burkulís first over, had the Dhaka Side right on target at 12 for no loss in the first over. Jadhav introduced his strike bowler Van Der Wath in the 4th over who struck immediately trapping the dangerous Nazimuddin LBW cheaply for 2.
The wicket however had no effect on Nafees and the inform Aftab Ahmed, playing some delightful stokes to take the Dhaka Warriors to a comfortable position at 51/1 at the end of the 7th over. Jadhav introduced his spinners early and it delivered results, with the wicket of the dangerous Aftab Ahmed, castled by Shreyas Khanolkar in the 8th over.
Aftabís little cameo was worth 23 runs off 15 balls including four hits to the boundary. At the half way mark of their innings, the Dhaka boys were comfortably placed at 76/2; helped by a dropped chance of Alok Kapali by Raza with only one run against his name. Nafees was playing a fine anchoring innings brining his fifty in the 12th over off 36 balls laced with 9 boundary hits.
Young Sridhar Iyer however struck right back getting the big wicket of Shahriar Nafees in the14th over. Nafeesís innings was worth 57 runs including 9 fours and 1 six.
The wicket of Bashar in the 16th over pulled back Mumbai into the match delicately poised at the Dhaka score of 116/4 needing another 36 runs off 29 balls. Kapali was making most of his second chance playing some lusty strokes to help the Dhaka Warriors stay right ahead of the target.
In the end Kapali in company of Dhiman Ghosh saw the Dhaka Warriors romp home with a 6 wicket victory.