MUMBAI: Known as the ‘Crisis man’ of the Mumbai cricket team , Siddhesh Lad has turned his arm over in the past in domestic cricket. He has taken a clutch of wickets too across all formats. Never would he imagined that he would grab a fiver and that too in the Twenty20 format, but on Friday he teased and taunted the clueless Mizoram batsman in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament at the Wankhede Stadium .
Lad took five for 13 in four overs to lead Mumbai to a facile 10-wicket rout of the visitor as the home team began their Group `D’ campaign in style. After making a sound start, Mizoram was shot out for 77 in 19.3 overs after being put in. Jay Bista then feasted on their mediocre bowling to crack a power-packed, unbeaten 54 (24 balls, 5x4, 3x6) as Mumbai galloped home with 71 balls to spare.
Led by KB Pawan, Mizoram cantered to 38 without loss in the ninth over, before pacer Tushar Deshpande, included in the squad after much controversy, had him nicking one behind with an incoming delivery.
Lad began his wonderful spell with a double-wicket maiden, and could’ve taken seven wickets, but for ‘keeper Aditya Tare spilling a catch off his first ball, and later Shams Mulani grassing a chance at deep mid wicket.
Deshpande justified his inclusion with a return of two for eight in 2.3 overs as Mizoram collapsed like a pack of cards, losing all their 10 wickets for 39 runs in 65 balls.
Lad, meanwhile, is working on his bowling to make sure his place in the side, in the face of increasing competition, isn’t under threat. “I’ve taken fivers at the club level before. I’m focusing on my bowling in limited overs cricket because there there’s healthy competition in the Mumbai team, and my bowling suits this format. You’ve to focus on other aspects of your game. If you bring an extra skill to the table, then the captain and coach keep that in mind that you can contribute in another way too. I never focused on my bowling earlier, but now I am doing it, because it helps in the IPL, or any kind of cricket. I feel I bowled well in the Vijay Hazare too,” he explained.
Will this help him get more than just one game that he’s played for the Mumbai Indians?
“They already know,” he chuckled. “I’m happy to get a fiver. I was just looking to bowl in good areas. The wicket was a bit damp in the morning, so I was getting a bit of turn, the ball was turning from the same spot, and going straight though as well,” he said.