BENGALURU: Played 10. Won eight and unbeatean so far in the Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign. Mumbai are on the verge of a unique feat. As always been the case, this edition of one-day competition witnessed their batsmen come to the fore with the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer contributing bulk of runs.
While the contributions of the batting unit have made the headlines, performance of their bowlers has been swept under the carpet. Such kind of things are bound to happen when there are several India internationals in the batting department. However, their bowlers’ contribution has been equally important to maintain their unbeaten streak.
In the group matches in Bengaluru, where big scores were common, the 274 they conceded against Karnataka still remains their highest. They have managed to take all 10 wickets in six out of eight completed matches. Their biggest test came against Punjab when Mumbai were dismissed for 245, but the bowlers took responsibility and restricted Punjab to 202. Left-arm spinner Shams Mulani has been the pick of the lot with 16 wickets at an economy rate of 3.85. Pacers Dhawal Kulkarni and Tushar Deshpande have scalped 15 and 13 respectively. While Kulkarni has an economy rate of 4.41, Deshpande has gone a little expensive at 5.78.
The trio once again came to the forefront in their side’s win against Hyderabad on Wednesday. While Deshpande picked up three wickets, Kulkarni and Mulani managed a wicket each to restrict Hyderabad for 246. With a moderate total to chase, Mumbai batsmen delivered to clinch the rain-affected match by 60 runs via VJD method.
Mumbai coach Vinayank Samant is pleased with the way his bowlers have stuck to their plan throughout the tournament. “I am happy with the performance of the bowlers. They know the plan and they stick to it, which is why they have been consistent,” he told Express.
“Dhawal bowls in good areas and tries to contain. On the other hand, Tushar is little quicker and takes wickets regularly. It is good to see them bowling in tandem. Mulani is also a smart bowler, who uses his acumen to get wickets.”
Brief scores: Hyderabad 246/8 in 50 ovs (Rohit 121 n.o; Deshpande 3/55) lost to Mumbai 155/2 in 25 ovs (Shaw 61, Iyer 55 n.o; VJD method).