Maharashtra and Hyderabad topple big guns en route to final
Maharashtra held their nerve for a three-wicket win with two balls to spare against fancied Tamil Nadu at the Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground in Indore. The big names for Tamil Nadu were on IPL duty but the opening stand of 54 between Abhinav Mukund (32) and Srikkanth Anirudha (30) augured well after they were put in. Offspinner Ganesh Gaikwad sent back both batsmen but another thirty followed from Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan and helped Tamil Nadu post 153. Rangaraj Sutesh's early strikes rattled Maharashtra's chase but key contributions from Sangram Atitkar and Gaikwad kept them in the hunt. Even as offspinner Murthy Prabhu picked up 3 for 16, the most important hand was played by Digambar Waghmare. The No. 7 batsman hit 31 off 17 balls, including one four and two sixes, to take them home eventually.
With several players representing the Daredevils franchise, Delhi also found the going tough and went down by five wickets against Hyderabad. Choosing to bat, they were given an early lift by opener Farman Ahmed's quickfire 54. However, there was to be no encore lower down the order and right-arm seamer Vivek Krishna proved to be the biggest beneficiary with 4 for 25, as Delhi finished on 157. A strong opening partnership of 48 looked to have Hyderabad a great platform during the reply. Akshath Reddy's 30-ball 33 was well matched by Anoop Pai's 24-ball 31 as Hyderabad made steady progress towards the target. The win was ultimately sealed by Amol Shinde and Hanuma Vihari with an over to spare.