Mumbai: Triumph Knights Mumbai North East stormed into the final of the inaugural T20 Mumbai League by whipping Sobo Super Sonics by 40 runs in Qualifier 1 on Monday.
Triumph Knights rode on a whirlwind 63 in 35 balls from captain Suryakumar Yadav to post a challenging total of 162 for six and then defended it successfully against some poor batting by their rivals who were arrested at 122 in 19.1 overs to emerge triumphant.
The Triumph Knights thus straightaway entered the final, set for March 21, to fight for the top prize of Rs one crore, while Super Sonics will get another chance in Qualifier 2 which is set for Tuesday at the Wankhede Stadium.
Openers Shikhar Thakur (22) and Shashank Singh (34) provided a sound start to Triumph Knights innings after they were put in to bat by Super Sonics skipper Abhishek Nayar.
The duo put on 40 runs just past the power play period before losing three wickets in 16 balls to slump to 48 for three.
Nayar picked up two of those by dismissing Thakur and Aditya Dhumal while spinner Dhrumil Matkar packed off Sumit Ghadigaonkar.
This brought together Shashank with his captain Yadav and the duo stemmed the rot with a partnership of 31 runs when the former fell to Badre Alam.
Yadav was batting well and reached his fifty, his second of the tournament, in style by carting a full toss over mid-wicket. He then smacked Harmeet Singh for successive sixes before the left-arm spinner, a former U19 World Cupper, got his revenge by castling the Knights captain with a faster ball.
Yadav struck 4 sixes and five fours in his breezy knock and also added 57 runs in 31 balls with Akash Parkar (14 not out) as he fell in the 18th over. Nayar picked up 2 for 19 but surprisingly did not complete his quota.
Chasing 163 for victory, Super Sonics got off to a shock start when key batsman Jay Bista fell to the first ball of the innings, caught at covers.
They then lost two more wickets inside the power play, both batsmen getting out to poor shots in the sixth over of the innings from left-arm spinner Aditya Dhumal and never looked like chasing from that position.
Dhumal packed off Prasad Pawar, caught at mid-off for 27 in 19 balls, to break the second-wicket stand at 45 and then got rid of captain Nayar, caught at backward of square, as Super Sonics slumped to 45 for 3.
They also lost the big-hitting Sujit Nayak to be poorly placed at 50 for four and then were 67 for five soon afterwards. Opener Akarshit Gomel, who was out in the 15th over, top-scored by making 32 in 33 balls.
Brief Scores: Triumph Knights Mumbai North East 162 for 6 (Shashank Singh 34, Suryakumar Yadav 63; Abhishek Nayar 2 for 19) beat Sobo Super Sonics 122 all out in 19.1 overs (Akarshit Gomel 32, Prasad Pawar 27; Dhrumil Matkar 25; Pratik Dhabolkar 2 for 34, Aditya Dhumal 2 for 23, Kalpesh Sawant 3 for 13) by 40 runs.