Mumbai: Hosts Mumbai recovered from a precarious position to notch up a thrilling one-wicket victory over Saurashtra with two balls to spare and book their berth in the knock-out rounds of the Vijay Hazare one-day cricket tournament at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Shoaib Sheikh, who came in when Mumbai were tottering at 41 for 4 chasing 252, batted patiently to make 83 in 105 balls with three fours and a six before departing when his side needed 21 runs to win the West Zone clash.
He was well supported by Anup Revandkar (45 in 66 balls with 6 fours), with whom he put on 73 runs for the fifth wicket, before tail-enders - captain Ajit Agakar (28), Iqbal Abdulla (29 not out) and Dhawal Kulkarni (15) - guided the home team past the finish line in engrossing fashion.
Chasing Saurashtra`s 251 for 6, Mumbai were struggling at 114 for 5 in the 30th over at the fall of Revandkar`s wicket but Sheikh rallied the lower order to help Mumbai notch their third successive win in the five-team round robin.
Mumbai have one more game in hand, against Maharashtra tomorrow, but have already made their spot secure even if they lose the tie. Maharashtra, with two wins in as many ties, need to win the game to join Mumbai in the knockouts.
Saurashtra too recovered from 116 for 6 to post a healthy total, thanks to the unbroken seventh wicket stand of 135 runs between Chirag Jani (79 in 71 balls with 8 fours and 3 sixes) and Kamlesh Makvana (54 in 67 balls with 6 fours).
The duo`s late-order hitting, that included under 19 player Jani`s successive sixes off Agarkar in the 49th over, piloted Saurashtra to a competitive total. Saurashtra added 91 runs in the last ten overs.
Scores: Saurashtra 251 for 6 (Sagar Jogiyani 67, Chirag Jani not out 79, Kamlesh Makvana not out 54; K Waingankar 3 for 21) lost to Mumbai 252 for 9 (Anup Revandkar 45, Shoaib Sheikh 83, Ajit Agarkar 28, Iqbal Abdulla not out 29; S Maniar 3 for 34, K Makvana 2 for 52).