India’s biggest domestic ODI tournament is the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the 2018-19 season has recently concluded, after a total of 160 ODIs were contested among Indian regional teams, between 19 September and 20 October 2018. Proceedings all came to an end yesterday when Delhi faced Mumbai in the mega final at 9am IST at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Each team played 8 group stage games a piece before the top 8 moved on to the quarter finals. It was a smooth season for Mumbai all along, winning 6 of their 8 group stage games (2 had no results) to top the group, followed by an easy 9-wicket win against Bihar in the quarter final, a 60-run victory against Hyderabad in the semi-final and now a 4-wicket victory against Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy Final yesterday.
It was a great effort from Mumbai right from the start, boosted for a few games by Indian national team batsmen Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw and led by the young and talented Shreyas Iyer. In the final, Delhi batted first and were bowled out for 177, which was well below par. Looks like the pressure of the final got to them yesterday.
Dhawal Kulkarni and Shivam Dubey picked up 3 wickets each and set it up nicely for their batsmen, who had to bat sensibly to complete the tournament victory. However, the Mumbai batsmen stuttered at the start, being reduced to 40/4 in the 8th over thanks to a brilliant spell of bowling upfront by Navdeep Saini; he ended with figures of 3/53 in the final.
From there, there was some good patch-up work by Aditya Tare and Siddhesh Lad, bringing Mumbai back into the game. Tare, who has been a game-changer for Mumbai Indians in the IPL in the past (with his last ball 6 to qualify to the play-offs), now turned out to be the match winner in the Vijay Hazare Trophy too. He ended with 71(89) as Mumbai completed the chase in the 35th over and Tare was awarded the Man of the Match. Mumbai ended the tournament UNBEATEN!
All of the talks of the decline of Mumbai cricket were put to rest after the game, by none other than Mumbai cricketing stalwart, Amol Muzumdar. He very clearly mentioned that Mumbai cricket is not declining but the other teams are getting much better, and that in itself, is a brilliant sign for Indian cricket.
While the tournament will turn out to be the rise of many local cricketers, it may also be the end of a few careers. Don’t forget to leave your comments on the same. Also, keep reading ReadScoops.com for more updates on the Indian cricketing circuit.
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