Bista and Tank’s sensational stand sends the SuperSonics into the final

The pair’s 196-run partnership coupled with Matkar’s five-wicket haul helped the SuperSonics beat the Tigers by 26 runs.

A record partnership, including the league’s first century, and the season’s first five-wicket spell powered the SoBo SuperSonics past the Aakash Tiger Mumbai Western Suburbs by 25 runs in the second semi-final to send them through to the final of T20 Mumbai Season 2.

Despite the team chasing winning each of the previous three matches, the SuperSonics elected to bat first and evidently, it was the correct choice as openers Jay Bista and Harsh Tank smashed 29 off the first three overs, including 14 off the third to get their team off to the perfect start.

The pair punished the spinners in the powerplay overs, scoring 12 off Nehal Katakdhond’s over before smashing Shams Mulani for 14 to finish with 63 runs after six overs. Following a couple of relatively quiet overs, the two went on the offence again, smashing 22 off the 10th and 11th over combined to bring up their 100-run partnership with Bista batting on 49 and Tank on 58.

Captain Dhawal Kulkarni played a wildcard and brought on spinner Aakarshit Gomel into the attack, but the move backfired badly as Bista and Tank smashed 21 off the over, including three sixes to take the team’s scoring rate above 10 an over. The pair continued to score runs freely and hammered the Tigers’ bowling attack for 45 in the next three overs, breaking the record for the highest partnership in T20 Mumbai history and also getting into their 90s.

Batting on 95, Bista ran hard for a couple twice on two straight deliveries and with a soft tap on the onside for a single, the skipper became the league’s first-ever centurion, reaching the mark in 56 deliveries. But that moment of joy for the SuperSonics lasted just a couple of balls, as a mix-up between the two openers left Tank stranded in the middle of the crease and the opener had to walk back just seven runs short of a deserved century.

Four deliveries later, the skipper’s lofted shot did not travel the necessary distance and fell straight into the hands of fielder Shams Mulani who made no mistake in reeling it in to end his epic knock at 110. The Tigers finished strong allowing just 10 runs on the final eight balls of the inning, as the SuperSonics finished with 217-4.  

In reply, the Tigers scored 11 off the first over but lost a couple of wickets in the second, as Dhrumil Matkar dismissed Arjun Tendulkar and Bhavin Thakkar to get his team off to a dream start in their defence of the total. New man Doraiswamy Subramanian and Aakarshit Gomel negated the effect of that double-blow and scored 41 off the next four overs to help the Tigers finish with 53 at the conclusion of the powerplay.

The two continued in the same flow and added a further 20 runs to the team’s score in the next two overs. However, in the ninth over, spinner Khizer Dafedar got rid of Gomel after some wonderful work in the field from Bista and in the very next over, the spin did the trick yet again as Parag Khanapurkar dismissed Subramanian to leave the Tigers at 88-4.

The 11th over yielded 17 runs for the Tigers but the 12th saw two more batsmen walk back to the pavilion and it was Matkar yet again who did the damage with the ball for the SuperSonics. The spinner got his fifth scalp in his final over, dismissing Nehal Katakdhond to become the first player to pick a five-for this season. Kulkarni continued to wage a lone battle for his side and reached his maiden fifty in 26 balls, but with wickets tumbling at the other end, the Tigers hopes kept fading with every passing over.

Kulkarni smashed three straight boundaries in the 19th over, but it was too little too late as the Tigers finished at 26 runs short of the target.

Score kya hai?

SoBo SuperSonics (Jay Bista 110, Hersh Tank 93, Sylverster D’Souza 3-30) beat

Aakash Tigers Mumbai Western Suburbs (Dhawal Kulkarni 68, Aakarshit Gomel 43, Dhrumil Matkar 5-32) beat 26 runs. 

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