Opener Eknath Kerkar’s blazing 70 guided Namo Bandra Blasters to a four-wicket win over Sobo Supersonics in their T20 Mumbai League game in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Kerkar’s 51-ball knock, in which he struck nine fours and his twin partnerships of 64 with captain Shreyas Iyer (31 off 26 balls) for the second wicket and 46 with Prasad Pawar (31 off 16 balls) for the fourth were enough for the Blasters to overhaul the target of 152 runs in the last over despite a late stutter.
However, had it not been for a superlative performance – both at the start and the death – by right-arm pacer Nikhil Date (3/27) and left-arm spinner Aditya Dhumal (2/28), the Blasters would have found it difficult to restrict Supersonics to a below-par total of 151 for eight.
Kerkar then starred in the chase.
With captain Iyer playing the big shots, Kerkar preferred to time the ball through gaps.
However, Kerkar threw his wicket away to seasoned pacer Rohan Raje in the 18th over.
Prasad Pawar’s cameo had virtually sealed the deal by then and despite Pawar and Dhumal falling to leggie Parag Khanapurkar in the next over, Siddharth Chitnis scored the winning runs off Deepak Shetty in the last over.
The victory gave the Blasters their second successive win and also condemned the Supersonics to their first defeat in the tournament.
Brief scores: SoBo Supersonics 151/8 in 20 overs (Yogesh Takawale 32, Japjeet Randhawa 27, Jay Bista 27; Nikhil Date 3/29, Aditya Dhumal 2/28, Sujit Nayak 2/30) lost to NaMo Bandra Blasters 152/6 in 19.
2 overs (Eknath Kerkar 70, Prasad Pawar 31, Shreyas Iyer 31; Parag Khanapurkar 2/9, Khizer Dafedar 2/23).