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Mumbai wins vital game

Mumbai bowlers came up with a fine performance to check Madhya Pradesh's run-flow, as it scored a 44-run victory and won two points in a vital round-robin league match.

Put in by rival skipper Abbas Ali, Amol Muzumdar's 57 off 35 balls was the highlight of Mumbai's 188, and was well aided by hard-hitters Rohit Sharma (39 off 25) and Mussavir Khote (31 off 17).

Forced into a must-win situation to progress into the final from Group `B', M.P. found the going tough as Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar justified their reputation with hostile spells.

The slow bowlers then put the brakes on MP's enthusiastic batting, and its effort fell 44 runs short at 144 for six. Brijesh Tomar hit 57, while Rahul Bakshi came up with a 40-run knock.

In furnace-like conditions at Motera, toss was crucial. Sachin Tendulkar's stint lasted nine balls. The in-form Sharma stepped into to fill the breach by taking 21 runs off a Shantanu Pitre over. M.P. fielders, however, had the last laugh with Devendra Bundela at mid-on pouching a shoulder-high Tendulkar catch and Abbas, at full stretch in the cover region, cutting short Sharma's explosive strokeplay.

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