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October 22, 2010
Yusuf Pathan rescued Baroda from a desperate situation with a savage half-century to carry his side to a three-wicket win over Gujarat at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. Baroda were seemingly dead and buried at 7 for 5 chasing 129, but somebody forget to tell Yusuf. He proceeded to bludgeon five fours and eight sixes in a 42-ball 89, sharing a 92-run partnership with Ketan Panchal for the seventh wicket that came off only 8.2 overs. Yusuf fell with eight runs still to get, but by then the damage been done, and Baroda cruised home with 17 balls to spare.
Before Yusuf's staggering assault, Siddharth Trivedi appeared to have won the game for Gujarat after knocking over three of the top five Baroda batsmen with only six runs on the board. Trivedi would eventually get Pathan as well, to finish with 4 for 29, but by then the match had swung completely the other way.
Yusuf had starred with the ball as well, taking 3 for 25 as Gujarat stuttered to 128. Bhavik Thaker top scored with 32 from 30 balls, with two fours and a six. Opener Pratharesh Parmar, who made 28, and Jay Desai, who made 25, were the only other batsmen to go past 10.
Iqbal Abdulla spun Mumbai to an emphatic 54-run win against Saurashtra at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. Saurashtra had got off to a poor start in their chase of Mumbai's 144, losing three wickets with 11 runs on the board, including the one of India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for 0. Shitanshu Kotak and captain Jaydev Shah tried to steady the innings, but the asking rate climbed steeply during their slow resistance. After Kotak fell, left-arm spinner Abdulla ran through the lower order, taking 4 for 7 as Saurashtra finished on 90 for 9.
Mumbai themselves had earlier started poorly, losing captain Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane cheaply. But Paul Valthaty and Abhishek Nayar ensured they didn't get bogged down, like Saurashtra did. After Valthaty fell for 32 off 18 deliveries, Nayar took over. His 48 off 44 took Mumbai to a healthy total, despite the regular fall of wickets at the other end.
India leg spinner Amit Mishra spun Haryana to an easy nine-wicket win over Jammu & Kashmir at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi. J&K got off to a sedate start after choosing to bat first, before Mishra ripped through the heart of the middle order, reducing them from 54 for 2 to 59 for 7. He twice took two wickets in an over to finish with figures of 5 for 19, as JK were bowled out for 82.
Haryana made quick work of the small target, getting there with 6.4 overs to spare and for the loss of opener Mukul Dagar. Rahul Dewan led the way with a solid unbeaten 44, which came from 41 balls, and contained seven fours. Haryana top the North Zone points table, ahead of Delhi on net run-rate. Both teams have won their first three matches.
Mithun Manhas and Puneet Mehra's unbroken 80-run partnership gave Delhi a comfortable seven-wicket win over Punjab at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi. Mehra and Manhas came together with the score at 58 for 3 and made identical scores of 39, as Delhi chased down their target of 138 with eight balls to spare.
Punjab never really got going after choosing to bat, as their batsman struggled to stitch together decent partnerships. Opener Sarul Kanwar top scored with 31 from 33, but it took some lower order hitting by allrounder Bipul Sharma, who made 27 from 16, with three fours and a six, to push Punjab to 137. Sharma and Karan Goel, who remained unbeaten on 30, racked up 36 from the last 4.3 overs, but it proved to be too little too late.
Himachal Pradesh slid to their third-straight defeat, losing to Services by 14 runs by way of the VJD method after rain intervened at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi. Medium-pacer Abhishek Sinha grabbed four wickets for 22 to restrict HP to 111 for 8. The opening bowlers had struck a couple of early blows and HP had to rely on contributions from Abhinav Bali and Manvinder Bisla to revive them. VA Indulkar chipped in with a steady 24 while Sinha was making inroads at the other end, to give the HP bowlers something to defend. Services, in their reply, had progressed to 76 for 3 in 13 overs, with opener Sumit Singh making 27, before rain prevented any further play. According to VJD calculations, Services needed to have been just 65 for 3.
Uttar Pradesh opened their account in the tournament with a 10-run win over Railways at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Their star was RP Singh, who picked up five wickets for eight runs in four overs, among the best figures for a bowler in Twenty20 matches. The UP openers Rohit Srivastava and Tanmay Srivastava laid the platform for a competitive score with a 41-run stand and Ravikant Shukla and Piyush Chawla provided the innings impetus in the late overs to extend the score to 165. The Railways reply began in encouraging fashion with the openers adding 33 but things soon went downhill. Praveen Gupta dismissed PM Madkaikar and set the stage for RP to run through the top and middle orders. The next four wickets fell for just 13 runs in a space of 4.1 overs but when it seemed UP had the game in the bag, Railways staged a recovery. Shreyas Khanolkar fought back with 61, adding 60 with JP Yadav and a further 29 with Avishkar Salvi to keep his team in the hunt. But when he fell, caught by Mohammad Kaif off Kamran Khan in the penultimate over with 17 needed off 8, UP had struck a decisive blow that secured them a win.
On a day of fascinating contests, Vidarbha and Madhya Pradesh served up a thriller at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The teams played out a tie but Vidarbha won the one-over eliminator and notched up their first victory of the tournament. Vidarbha opted to bat and were boosted by a 64-run stand for the second wicket between Alind Naidu (20) and captain Shalabh Shrivastava (41). However, Jalaj Saxena, with his offspin, triggered a slide and grabbed a career-best 5 for 16 to limit Vidarbha to 141. The chase began in positive fashion for MP, with openers Naman Ojha and Monish Mishra racing to 49 in 5.2 overs. At 92 for 1 in a little over 11 overs, MP looked good to bag a win but the Vidarbha bowlers fought back with Naidu proving the pick of the bowlers with his offbreaks, taking 3 for 12 in four overs. MP still had their noses ahead as late as the final over but lost three wickets, including two off the last two balls with just one run needed for victory.
MP were to rue their lapses in the end as Vidarbha edged the one-over eliminator. MP batted first and were able to take seamer Umesh Yadav for just 9 runs. Vidarbha, facing Anand Rajan, took five balls to scale their target.
Bengal's bowlers stifled Jharkhand in their chase of 133, restricting them to 117 for 6 at the Sunshine Ground in Cuttack. Jharkhand had raced to 37 without loss in the fifth over, before allrounder Laxmi Shukla removed Akash Verma. Bengal came right back into the game, drying up the runs through some tight bowling. The pressure told on Jharkhand as they lost three wickets for four runs to limp to 78 for 4 after 14 overs. The asking rate proved to be too much for the remaining batsmen, and Jharkhand finished 15 runs short despite captain Rajiv Kumar's 43. His counterpart Manoj Tiwary had earlier lifted Bengal from 22 for 2 to 132 for 5, hitting four fours and two sixes in his 59 off 53. He was supported by opener Arindam Das who made a patient 42.
An all-round performance by Assam enabled them to beat Tripura by six wickets at the Ravenshaw College Ground in Cuttack. Assam's bowlers scythed through the Tripura top order, leaving them struggling at 38 for 5. Swapan Das and Wilkin Mota added 52 runs in quick time to lead the recovery, but Mota's dismissal triggered yet another collapse, and Tripura lost their remaining wickets for 27 runs to be dismissed for 117. Das top scored with 36 off 29 while four Assam bowlers took two wickets apiece. Pritam Debnath began solidly for Assam, and S Sriram ensured they capitalised on the good start, guiding his team home with an unbeaten 39 off 29.
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