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T20 League Mumbai took an exciting turn when a little fancied unit of North Mumbai Panthers toppled Eagle Thane Strikers in a closely fought contest. In another game in the tournament, Akash Tigers thumped reigning champions Triumph Knight in their first match. The two teams, Eagle Thane Strikers and Akash Tigers, are set to lock horns on 16th May at Wankhede Stadium in what could prove to be a crucial encounter in the overall context of the tournament.
Going into the first match, Eagle Thane Strikers were clearly the better of the two sides, at least on paper. They had an experienced unit with the likes of Kaushik Chikhalikar, Sachin Wagh, Aditya Tare, and Sarfaraz Khan in their batting lineup.
Their bowling, on the other hand, seems to be a little weak. The absence of Shardul Thakur only added to their concerns. Winning the toss and bowling first, their bowlers leaked runs in the early overs. Although they kept on picking up wickets all along the innings, they could never stem the flow of runs which led to a huge total stacked in front of them.
Considering their batting lineup, even the chase of 190 runs didn't really out of their reach and hence it seemed for quite some part of their innings. Aditya Tare played a valiant innings to get them across the line, but eventually, the Strikers fell short by six runs.
Aditya Tare, Kaushik Chikhalikar, Sachin Wagh, Sarfaraz Khan, Alpesh Ramjani, Sagar Mishra, Aishwary Surve, Ankush Jaiswal, Siddhant Singh, Prashant Bhoir, Kruthik Hanagavadi.
Aakash Tigers MWS are playing for the first time in this tournament and there couldn't have been a better way for them to begin the tournament. They got the services of Arjun Tendulkar in the auction and it immediately reaped rewards in their opening contest.
Other than junior Tendulkar, another big name in their side is that of Dhaval Kulkarni, who along with Arjun Tendulkar played a crucial role in keeping Knights to a modest total.
Chasing a smallish total of 148, Aakash Tigers got off to a flying start, courtesy Kaustubh Pawar and Aakarshit Gomel. Arjun Tendulkar played a vital hand in taking their innings to the closure before getting dismissed for a well-made 23. Things could have taken a trickier turn had Subramaniam and Yogesh Pawar not stitched a small yet useful partnership of 20 runs coming in just under two overs as Aakash Tigers MWS sealed the deal with three balls to spare.
Kaustubh Pawar, Aakarshit Gomel, Arjun Tendulkar, Doraiswamy Subramanian, Yogesh Pawar, Siddharth Akre, Shams Mulani, DS Kulkarni, Nehal Katakdhond, Minad Manjrekar, Anjdeep Lad.
The two teams are coming on the back of contrasting results in their respective matches. While the Tigers are coming off a superb win, the Strikers lost their previous match by a margin of mere six runs. There's hardly anything to choose between the two sides and because momentum can play a crucial role in the shortest version of the game, Aakash Tigers will be a confident unit. Having said that, the Strikers have a much-better batting unit with many players capable to hit the ball from the word go and are therefore better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture, by a small margin though.
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