Uttar Pradesh go down by six wickets, with 51 balls left in the game, despite putting up 312
Mumbai 315 for 4 (Aditya Tare 118*, Prithvi Shaw 73, Shivam Dube 42) beat Uttar Pradesh 312 for 4 (Madhav Kaushik 158*, Samarth Singh 55, Akshdeep Nath 55, Tanush Kotian 2-54) by six wickets
Mumbai coasted to a fourth Vijay Hazare Trophy title, beating Uttar Pradesh in the final in Delhi on Sunday by six wickets, getting to their not-meagre target of 313 with 51 balls in hand thanks to a 39-ball 73 from Prithvi Shaw, Aditya Tare‘s first List A century and partnerships of note right through their 41.3-over innings. UP’s batting innings, led by opener Madhav Kaushik‘s 156-ball 158, would have given them hopes of a first title win, but Shaw hammered them out of the contest early in the chase, making it easy for the batsmen to follow to complete the job and give Mumbai their fourth Vijay Hazare Trophy win. As for Shaw, he ended the tournament with 827 runs, the most by an individual in one season of the competition.
A short passage in the 28th over of the Mumbai chase summed things up from UP’s point of view. Shivam Mavi, bowling his sixth over, went around the wicket and sent it down the leg side to the left-handed Shams Mulani. Wide. And the wicketkeeper, Upendra Yadav, got behind the ball, but looked casual in getting his gloves behind the ball, and it went through his legs for four additional runs. The next ball was a wide too – by that stage, UP had lost the plot, and Mumbai were in total control. It didn’t change.
It’s difficult to blame the UP players, though. They had bowled most of their opponents out during the course of the tournament, but came up against a rampaging Shaw upfront after scoring a competitive 312 for 4 courtesy Kaushik’s century and half-centuries from Samarth Singh and Akshdeep Nath. But Shaw, who had missed a small chunk of the Mumbai bowling innings after copping a blow to the shin while fielding in the slips, kept up his blistering form at the top of the chase.
It wasn’t one of the many daddy centuries he has hit in the tournament, but Shaw’s knock was exactly the sort of innings that makes big chases look easy and demoralises opponents to the point of them giving up well before the end. The little Mumbai opener sent the ball flying to all parts of the ground, and the UP players were reduced to jogging across, fetching the ball from beyond the rope 14 times – ten fours and four sixes – as their shoulders sagged, Delhi seemed hotter than it is, and helpless expressions gave the story away.
While Shaw has had a stellar tournament, Yashasvi Jaiswal hasn’t, and the 30-ball 29 might have stood out more had it not come during Shaw’s fireworks. Shaw fell first, in the tenth over, and Jaiswal went in the 15th, to bring some smiles on the faces of the UP players, but if they had an opening there, they let go of the opportunity, not attacking the Tare-Mulani pair with their best bowlers at the start and letting them settle down. That third-wicket stand went up to 88 runs in just over 15 overs, took Mumbai to 215 in just over 30 overs, and finished the game off for all practical purposes.
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made frm something they hv deep inside them – a desire a dream a vision. They have to hv d skill & will. But the will must be stronger than the skill”- Muhammad Ali. This is wht we set out to do as a Team & this victory is for #Mumbai pic.twitter.com/CmDuPIEHql
— Prithvi Shaw (@PrithviShaw) March 14, 2021
It wasn’t done, though, with the target still close to 100 runs away, and that’s where Tare assumed the role of the senior pro he is. Tare had scored 12 List A half-centuries prior to this game but had never got to three figures. Today was the day for that, and he did it in great style. There were only a couple of balls that didn’t quite hit the middle of his bat – be it spin or pace, whether playing pulls or drives or cuts or sweeps, or even the odd ramp, Tare seemed in complete control. The speed of Shaw’s runs made a big difference, yes, and Tare capitalised, getting to his first List A century and taking Mumbai to the target at a good clip, while also doing his own reputation no harm. Shivam Dube did his big-hitting reputation no harm either, taking medium pace on his way to a 28-ball 42.
Earlier, Kaushik’s century and the late surge orchestrated by Nath, where UP scored 111 runs in the last ten overs, put them in a good position for a first outright title win – they were joint winners with Tamil Nadu after a tied final in the 2004-05 season. Kaushik batted through the UP innings after they opted to bat upon winning the toss, hitting 15 fours and four sixes in his innings. His first-wicket stand with Singh, who hit 55 in 73 balls with four fours and three sixes, was worth 122 runs and lay the platform for a big total.
Singh, however, fell to Prashant Solanki in the 26th over, and captain Karan Sharma was dismissed for a duck by Tanush Kotian in the very next over, and Kotian’s offspin accounted for Priyam Garg not long after, leaving UP at 161 for 3 at the start of the 35th over. That’s where the momentum was lost for UP, and the massive late surge just about got them up to par, not enough with Shaw being in the kind of form he has been in, or with the way Tare lifted his game on the day.
The win, fittingly, came from Tare’s bat, an over-pitched Yash Dayal delivery guided to the point boundary for four.