Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy | Pondicherry on a roll

Santha Moorthy, the 41-year-old swing bowler from Madras Cricket Club, ripped through a formidable Mumbai batting line-up to set up Pondicherry’s second famous win in three nights in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Sunday.

Thanks to Moorthy’s five-wicket haul (five for 20), Pondicherry shot out Mumbai for 94 in 19 overs at the Wankhede Stadium. The fledgling southerners then overhauled the target with six wickets and an over to spare.

A breezy start by openers S. Karthik (26, 21b, 2×6) and Rohit Damodaren (18, 25b, 3×4) was backed up by an unbeaten 24 (29b, 1×4) by Sheldon Jackson – scorer of the match-winning century against Andhra on Friday – as Pondicherry chased down the below-par total without fuss.

Earlier, after Mumbai was put in to bat, Aditya Tare, woefully short of runs, made just three, caught behind by wicket-keeper Jackson while trying to cut Moorthy’s first ball. The medium-pacer then induced an edge off Suryakumar Yadav to leave Mumbai at 22 for two from three overs. In his next over, it was the turn of Siddhesh Lad to edge behind to Jackson after making just two.

Sarfaraz Khan perished for a blob to A. Aravindaraj before Moorthy returned and accounted for opener Yashasvi Jaiswal in his third over, caught at point by M. Vikneshwaran.

If 39 for five in seven overs wasn’t bad enough, there was more misery in store as Moorthy got rid of the left-handed Sujit Nayak with a short ball with the team score at 42. Shivam Dube threatened to come good, reaching 28 off 24 balls, but left-arm spinner Sagar Udeshi trapped him in front, severely hampering Mumbai’s chances of crossing 100.

Not long after, Pondicherry registered its second win in Group E. Mumbai, on the other hand, found itself at the bottom with four losses in as many outings.

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