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With so many T20 leagues going around in India at the moment, the fact that Indian Premier League is over is hardly being felt. Mumbai Premier League is attracting a lot of eyes locally as well as on televisions and to add to that all the teams involved are playing with high intensity. Apart from the two teams, Shivaji Park Lions and NaMo Bandra Blasters, all teams have already opened their accounts as far as getting a win is concerned. These two teams are now set to face each other in the 12th match of T20 League Mumbai and with both the sides desperately searching for a win, a hard-fought, nail-biting contest is certainly on the cards.
Just like the Blasters, Lions are the only side which are yet to register a win in the tournament, but the fact that they've played only one game thus far seems to go in their favor. They are currently at the seventh spot in the points table, but a win here should be enough to thrust them back into contention for the playoff finish.
They were defeated badly by ARCS Andheri in their last game wherein both their batsmen and bowlers performed well but in patches. Batting first after losing the toss, the Lions had a surprisingly poor start and found themselves reeling at 86 for 5 with not too many overs remaining. Raunaq Sharma, however, kept them in the game as he scored a splendid unbeaten half-century to take his team to a respectable total.
Defending any total at Wankhede is not easy and it was certainly a commendable effort to drag the match to the final stage. Lions kept on chipping away at the wickets and had it not been for Akhil Herwadkar's superb innings, the Lions could have emerged on top.
Siddhesh Lad, Hardik Tamore, Shivam Dube, Raunaq Sharma, Rudra Dhanday, Tanush Kotian, Swapnil Pradhan, Shivam Malhotra, Siddharth Raut, Vijay Gohil, Sachin Yadav.
These are still early days in the tournament and even though the Blasters have lost the two matches, another couple of wins here would put them back on track. Having said that, considering the competitiveness of the tournament, it's not going to be easy.
The Blasters lost their last match to Mumbai Panthers by a remarkably high margin of 27 runs. Their bowlers failed to impose any pressure whatsoever on the opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Vikrant Auti as the duo smashed their bowlers all around the park. However, they did well to pull things back once the duo was dismissed and restricted Panthers to a manageable 175.
The score of 175 runs was around par considering the dew factor and small boundaries of Wankhede, but their batsmen failed to apply themselves and lost too many wickets too quickly. At one stage, they staring at a massive defeat with their scoreline reading 24 for 5. However, some useful contributions from their middle order and an enterprising knock from Siddarth Chitnis took them to 148.
Shreyas Iyer, Eknath Kerkar, Shrideep Mangela, Prasad Pawar, Sujit Nayak, Nikhil Patil, Siddharth Chitnis, Aditya Dhumal, Yash Malap, Karsh Kothari, Nikhil Date.
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With both teams desperate to get off the mark as far as points are concerned, this fixture is of significant importance for both the sides, more so for the NaMo Blasters. NaMo Blasters have lost both their matches and have appeared to be struggling in both the departments of the game. Lions, too, haven't been fantastic either, but they have produced better performances as compared to the Blasters. They arguably have a better-balanced unit, at least on paper and we think they are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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