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March 30, 2013
In a one-sided match, Kerala were crushed under the weight of a dominant batting performance from Gujarat, led by Manprit Juneja, who scored a belligerent century, and Abdulahad Malik, to lose by 90 runs in Indore. The victory helped Gujarat qualify for the final of the tournament, to be played against Punjab, as they snatched the top spot via a better net run-rate than Kerala.
Soon after being put in to bat, Gujarat were struggling at 31 for 3 in the fifth over, with the top three batsmen in their line-up having been dismissed. Juneja and Malik, then, shared an unbeaten 202-run partnership - the third-highest for any wicket in Twenty20s and the highest for the fourth wicket - in 94 balls to take them to a daunting 233 for 4. Juneja scored 108 off 50 deliveries, and Malik 84 off 46, both unbeaten. The two hit 25 fours and six sixes between them.
In reply, Kerala lost wickets frequently. Except opener VA Jagadeesh (36), Sanju Samson (32) and Raiphi Gomez (26), none of the other batsmen put up much resistance. They were eventually bowled out for 143, with seamer Mehul Patel and offspinner Jesal Karia taking three wickets each.
A quick half-century from Faiz Fazal helped Vidarbha beat Delhi by five wickets. Delhi, batting first, put up a strong 156 for 7, through a knock of 45 from Mohit Sharma and an unbeaten 39 from middle-order batsman Milind Kumar. Two significant partnerships, between Mohit and Jagrit Anand (worth 57 runs), and between Milind and Nitish Rana (40) helped Delhi get to the total, even though they kept losing wickets.
Fazal set the tone in Vidarbha's reply by dominating the opening stand of 31. He added 53 runs with Urvesh Patel, and when the stand was broken, Vidarbha were strong at 83 for 2. Three wickets fell for 31, but Shalabh Shrivastava, with a 14-ball 26, took them home in 19 overs.
A career-best, unbeaten 93 from Gurkeerat Singh helped Punjab beat Uttar Pradesh by 51 runs and gave them a berth in the final, to be played against Gujarat on Sunday. UP, after choosing to field, removed opener Mandeep Singh in the first over, and Ravi Inder Singh in the sixth over. But Gurkeerat struck useful stands with Mayank Sidhana, Chandan Madan and Amitoze Singh to steer his team to 161 for 5. His 58-ball knock consisted of eight fours and six sixes.
UP's innings never took off as seamer Sandeep Sharma dented the top order with quick wickets and spinner Rahul Sharma followed up by taking four wickets. Mohammad Kaif (46) and captain Piyush Chawla (29) provided resistance with a 46-run stand for the fifth wicket, but then they lost six wickets for 19 runs to be bowled out for 110.
Half-centuries from Jyot Chhaya and Vishnu Solanki took Baroda to a tight five-wicket victory over Karnataka at the Holkar Stadium. In their chase of 168, Baroda's top-order batsmen squandered starts, but at 75 for 4, Chhaya added 90 runs off 52 balls with Solanki to take them home in the penultimate ball of the innings.
Karnataka's innings revolved around a 34-ball 49 from opener Robin Uthappa, and contributions from Karun Nair (22), Manish Pandey (29), and K Gowtham (24). Spinners Bhargav Bhatt and Krunal Pandya took three wickets each.
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