It was the all-important semi-finals of the Masters Cup at Elf Vengsarkar Academy, Oval. JSW Steel won the toss & elected to bat first & make the most of the batting conditions and post a big total to put Rika Global under pressure.
Batting first, opener Harshit Kadam gave a fruitful start at the top of the order as he scored a solid 52 off 53 balls. The rest of the batsman scored 10’s and 20’s but were not able to convert their starts until their no.5 batsman I Shaikh came and scored a very important 20 ball 35 which helped them push their team total to 166/6 in 20 overs. Prakash Patil was the pick of the bowlers with bowling figures of 2/27 in 4 overs followed by a wicket each for Amit, Aakash & Shubham. The bowlers did a decent job but could have tried restricting them to a score of 150 to make it easier to chase.
Chasing 167 in 20overs & that too in the semi-finals where there is an added pressure is always tough but Rika Global did a terrific job as they won the match by 5 wkts and 2.4 overs to spare. Opener Aakash Patil gave us a déjà vu of Afridi & Maxwell as he smashed a blazing 75 coming in no time. Right-handed Aakash Patil scored 75 off just 29 balls and smashed 12 stunning boundaries & 2 big sixes in his counter-attacking knock. Aakash played at a strike rate of almost 260 & almost sealed the match single-handedly. R Amit who came in at no.7 also played a fine knock of 42* coming off just 26 balls to steer his team to a comfortable victory. C Kini & V Khanduja were the only bowlers who looked good as they took 3 & 2 wkts respectively.
RIKA Global won the match & opener Aakash Patil was adjudged ‘man of the match’ for his thunderous 75. Looking at the form Aakash and his team are in they certainly look favorites to win the finals of the tournament too.