New Delhi: Mumbai produced an all-round show to storm into the semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, crushing Karnataka by nine wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground on Tuesday.
Mumbai's opening batsmen, Wasim Jaffer (68) and Ajinkya Rahane (71 not out), batted brilliantly to help their team easily chase down Karnataka's score of 178. When Mumbai came out in the afternoon for the run-chase, Jaffer and Rahane started off steadily, but later lifted the tempo of their innings.
Jaffer, known for his effortless and cool approach at the crease, was completely in a different mood, though his lazy elegance in some shots was quite evident. His innings was studded with two sixes and 10 fours, while Rahane played sensibly and hit some glorious boundaries through the cover region.
The openers shared a partnership of 119 before Jaffer was bowled by left-arm spinner Abrar Kazi in the 19th over. From there on, Rahane and wicketkeeper-batsman Susanth Marathe took Mumbai home in 29.1 overs. Rahane scored an unbeaten 71 off 81 balls and Marathe remained not out on 31.
It went all right from the start itself for Mumbai after their skipper Ajit Agarkar won the toss and elected to field. There was moisture in the wicket earlier on with slightly overcast conditions, and the ball did seam and bounce for the first hour of the morning, making life hard for the Karnataka batsmen.
The Karnataka openers, Robin Uthappa and Mayank Agarwal, started watchfully as Mumbai's experienced new-ball pair of Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni bowled a nagging length to not let Karnataka off the hook. Mayank got two reprieves in the first two overs but failed to capitalise on it and fell to Agarkar leg before for 7. After that Karnataka kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were 57 for 6 in 16 overs.
But the seventh-wicket partnership between Sunil Raju and Raju Bhatkal repaired the innings and stitched in a 73-run partnership before Sunil Raju (30) was bowled by Ankeet Chavan in the 41st over. A ninth-wicket partnership of 19 took Karnataka to 178 for 9 in 50 overs, but it just wasn't enough to stop Mumbai.