Mumbai storm into title round

Mumbai storm into title round

Visitors to face Bengal in final

The caprice of the Feroze Shah Kotla track was well read by Mumbai, who after winning the crucial toss, went against the recent tradition of fielding first.

The well-mowed track during the two-day break was now a featherbed and Mumbai made merry, storming to a 140-run victory over hosts Delhi and entering the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Saturday, where they will take on Bengal.

The Mumbai batsmen studiously saw off the initial overs, during which time the ball moved a little, but soon cut loose to post a challenging 295 for five.

Wasim Jaffer provided an ideal start with a fluent 92 and Abhishek Nayar's breezy 72 not out off 41 balls ensured Mumbai did not lose momentum till the last.
In contrast, Delhi's chase never took flight and their innings crumbled to a meagre 155. Jagrit Anand's 51 and Shikher Dhawan's 34 were the only bright spots.

Delhi were also affected by an injury to their star pacer Ashish Nehra, who suffered a nasty fall while sprinting to bowl the last ball of his seventh over. He limped off the field and did not return for the remainder of the match.

The other Delhi bowlers failed to curtail the Mumbai batsmen, who batted with flair. Jaffer was an absolute entertainer with his effortless drives on both sides of the crease and along with Ajinkya Rahane (42) put up a formidable 72-run opening stand.

Rahane was stumped off left-arm spinner Varun Sood but Jaffer was in no mood to relent. His knock came off 110 balls and included 11 boundaries and a six.

Nayar then cut loose, ruthlessly hammering an ordinary-looking attack with a flurry of boundaries. His 63-run fifth-wicket partnership with Shoaib Shaikh (20) came off just 48 balls.

Heavy punishment

Delhi, short of Nehra's three overs, had to resort to a part-timer in Anand and he expectedly came in for heavy punishment. Led by Nayar, Mumbai amassed 110 runs in the last 10 overs, in which 71 runs came in last five overs.

Needing to score at an average of six runs per over, Delhi began in earnest, with Unmukt Chand and Dhawan collecting 40 runs for the opening stand. Chand was caught at point for 12 and his dismissal triggered a collapse.

Punit Bisht was also caught at point by Jathar while Dhawan's mistimed shot was caught off Kshemal Waingankar at cover. Delhi slumped to 58 for five when skipper Rajat Bhatia was stumped for a duck.

Jagrit and Yogesh Nagar (30) laboured for their 74-run sixth-wicket partnership as the pitch became slow.

Their dismissal sparked a swift end of the Delhi innings.

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