After posting a challenging 187, Brian Lara-led Mumbai Champs finally salvaged some pride by defeating Kolkata Tigers by seven runs in their final league match of the ICL Twenty20 tournament in Panchkula on Monday night.
The Champs, who have looked completely out of tune in this tournament, were playing for pride as they had lost four matches on the trot.
Playing their fourth match, the Tigers' middle-order batsmen made hara-kiri and crumbled like a pack of cards.
It all started after the fall of Rohan Gavaskar, who scored a brisk 28 off 18 balls. Vikram Solanki dismissed him at a crucial stage when Tigers needed 30 odd runs with 3 overs left.
Soon after, Suyash Burkul of the Champs had former South African allrounder Lance Klusener (7) caught out, triggering some concern in the Tigers camp. After Upul Chandana (3) and Mihir Diwakar (2) got run out, the Champs were smelling victory.
Needing 13 runs in the final over, the Tigers tail-enders could not achieve the target and handed the Champs a much-needed win.
Kiwi all-rounder Nathan Astle returned with figures of three for 26 to emerge as the most successful bowler for the Champs.
After the Champs elected to bat, opener Subhojit Paul struck a brilliant 50 off 41 balls.
Champs player S N Khanolkar, who was named man of the match, impressed with 64, which came off just 39 falls and included three sixes and seven fours.
Putting their best performance in the tournament, the Champs crossed the 180-mark losing three wickets with skipper Lara not coming out to bat.
Mumbai Champs innings:
Subhojit Paul c Diwakar b Klusener 50
VS Solanki c Diwakar b Klusener 26
SN Khanolkar run out (Diwakar) 64
KR Powar not out 27
JJ van der Wath not out 5
Extras (lb 1, w 14) 15
Total (3 wickets; 20 overs) 187
Fall of wickets: 1-46, 2-152, 3-165
Bowling: M Hayward 4-0-33-0, Eklak Ahmid 2-0-14-0, M Diwakar 3-0-31-0, L Klusener 4-0-29-2, CD McMillan 2-0-26-0, DL Maddy 1-0-8-0, UDU Chandana 3-0-32-0, RS Gavaskar 1-0-13-0.
Kolkata Tigers innings:
DL Maddy b Khirid 16
D Dasgupta c Astle b Joshi 31
AA Jhunjhunwala c Powar b Astle 32
CD McMillan b Astle 29
RS Gavaskar c Powar b Solanki 28
L Klusener c Khanolkar b Burkul 7
Rajiv Kumar c Joshi b Astle 8
UDU Chandana run out (Solanki) 3
M Diwakar run out (Khirid) 2
M Hayward not out 3
Eklak Ahmid not out 2
Extras (b 6, lb 7, w 2, nb 4) 19
Total (9 wickets; 20 overs) 180
Fall of wickets: 1-37, 2-74, 3-105, 4-139, 5-156, 6-166, 7-173, 8-174, 9-177
Bowling: RD Khirid 4-0-19-1, SR Burkul 4-0-31-1, P Joshi 4-0-44-1, SN Khanolkar 1-0-14-0, NJ Astle 4-0-26-3, NS Mandale 1-0-12-0, VS Solanki 2-0-21-1.