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Rahane, Tare blitz helps Mumbai cling on in high-scorer

Ajinkya Rahane opened the batting for Mumbai and came away with his 31st T20 fifty AFP

Ajinkya Rahane struck 78 off 53 balls, including 11 fours and a six and Aditya Tare bettered him with 79 off 41 balls to amass 211 for 3 for Mumbai and yet they could barely cling on to victory. Baroda were wilting at 84 for 5 in the 10th over when Vishnu Solanki took control, razing an unbeaten 69 off 34 balls at a strike-rate of 202. The game hurtled to a hair-raising finish at Reliance Stadium in Vadodara but, in the end, there were just too many runs to chase down.

Much of that was down to Rahane, who lost his place in the Indian T20 side, and the Mumbai captain Tare. They galloped along during their second-wicket partnership, putting on 152 runs in only 84 balls. There was only one bowler who could maintain an economy rate under 9 - Irfan Pathan, on the 11th anniversary of his taking a hat-trick in the very first over of the India-Pakistan Test in Mohali, conceded a mere 27 runs in his four overs. That's just over six runs an over in a match that threw up 416 runs at 10.4 per over.

Baroda's challenge was based on a sound opening stand as Kedar Devdhar and Miten Shah put on 52 in 4.5 overes, but they were hurt badly as soon as they lost their first wicket. Pravin Tambe, the 45-year old legspinner, used that opening to dismiss Deepak Hooda and both Pathan brothers for single-digits to put Mumbai on top. He finished with 3 for 26 in four overs but had to spend much of his time on the field fretting as Solanki kept pushing. He put on 59 for sixth wicket with Swapnil Singh at 10.11 per over and 56 with the seventh with Soaeb Tai at over 16 an over. But eventually, he ran out of time.

Gujarat overcame Ankit Bawne's unbeaten 59-ball 90 to beat Maharashtra by five wickets. That Maharashtra posted 154 for 7 was down to a fifth-wicket partnership of 47 between Bawne and debutant Naushad Shaikh, and an unbroken eight-wicket stand of 45 off 20 balls between Bawne and debutant Jagdish. Offspinner Rujul Bhatt took 3 for 28, while the new-ball pair of Chintan Gaja and Ishwar Chaudhary impressed with figures of 2 for 30 and 1 for 16 in their respective quotas.

Gujarat lost two early wickets in the chase, and when Dhruv Raval was taken out for 20, they were 56 for 3. A half-century stand between Bhatt and Chirag Gandhi then kept them on course. Although Bhatt fell for 54 off 34 balls, and Jesal Karia was dismissed for a duck, Rohit Dahiya partnered Gandhi to knock off the remaining runs. Gandhi was unbeaten on 39 off 22 balls, while Dahiya's struck at 200 for his 32 not out.