Last-ball six takes Delhi to knockouts
Pradeep Sangwan helped seal a last-ball win against Haryana at the Model Sports Complex with a cameo of 14 off five balls, striking a last-ball six off Joginder Sharma with four required to put Delhi in the knockouts. He came in when Delhi had lost the wicket of Rajat Bhatia, run out for 39, off the first ball of the last over. They needed 12 off five and Sangwan knocked off the runs with a four and then a maximum off the final ball. For Joginder, who snared Misbah-ul-Haq in Johannesburg to hand India the World Twenty20 title in 2007, it was a moment to forget.
Earlier, Delhi openers Chetan Sharma and Puneet Bisht had laid a solid platform for the chase of 147, adding 41. Bhatia then supported Sharma in a 36-run stand but Delhi appeared to lose their way when they lost the next four wickets for 25. But Yogesh Nagar revived the innings with a brisk 22 and Sangwan smashed the ball around in the final over to snatch a win. Haryana owed their competitive score to Sunny Singh, who anchored the innings with an unbeaten 74 off 48 balls which, unfortunately for him and his team, proved inadequate as Delhi won their fourth straight game.
Services kept their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage alive with a nervy two-wicket win off the penultimate ball of their game against Punjab at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi. The Services chase of 134 was in tatters at one stage as their top and middle-order batsmen squandered starts to be dismissed and their team collapsed to 69 for 7. Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma grabbed four wickets but the lower order fought back and how. Ritesh Negi was the star for Services, leading the recovery with 40 off 31 balls and adding 57 with Narendera Singh, who remained unbeaten on 24. Negi fell on the last ball of the penultimate over with the score on 126 but No.10 Suraj Yadav, along with Narendera, knocked off the remaining runs to seal a win with one ball to spare. Services also had to thank medium-pacer Amrinder Singh grabbed his maiden Twenty20 five-for to limit Punjab to a chaseable score, despite opener Sarul Kanwar's 49.
Himachal Pradesh earned their first points of the tournament with a thumping 56-run win over Jammu & Kashmir at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi. Openers Sangram Singh and Manvinder Bisla added 111 in 15.4 overs before Singh was run out for 57. His innings took 51 balls and contained six fours. Bisla was out in the last over, having also made 57, off 53 balls, with three fours and a six.
If J&K were to successfully chase 148, they needed to get off to a good start. However, at 15 for 5 in the sixth over, the match was effectively over. Ian Dev Singh and Shashi Kumar made sure J&K played out their full 20 overs with a 52-run partnership, but it was always going to be a bridge too far for a side that has now lost all four of its matches, and gone past 100 just once. Kuldeep Diwan and Ashok Thakur took 2 for 8 and 2 for 9 respectively.
Mumbai finished on top of the West Zone points table with an all-win record, prevailing over Maharashtra by 15 runs in their last encounter at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara. Aditya Tare and Paul Valthaty steadied Mumbai after fast bowler Samad Fallah had them reeling at 7 for 3. The duo added 63 runs before Valthaty was run out for 37. Ankeet Chavan then dominated a 53-run stand with Tare, who anchored the innings with his 47 off 50 deliveries. Chavan's unbeaten 44 off 31 lifted Mumbai to 147. Maharashtra's chase was led by Kedar Jadhav who hit three sixes in his 47 off 30. At 103 for 3, Maharashtra needed 45 from 29 with Jadhav at the crease. However, Ajit Agarkar took two wickets in the 16th over, and left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla removed Jadhav in the next. The lower order found the going tough, and Maharshtra were bowled out for 132.
Baroda eased past Saurashtra at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara, winning by four wickets with one over to spare. Saurashtra were in trouble early at 27 for 3, before Cheteshwar Pujara and Sheldon Jackson steadied the innings with a 44-run partnership. However, it was slow going for the pair, who took 9.5 overs to score their runs. Pujara led with 37 from 49 balls, but it was left to Rakesh Dhurv to provide a finishing kick. Dhurv hit two fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 33, which came off 15 balls, to take Saurashtra to 113.
Baroda lost two quick wickets, but a cameo from Yusuf Pathan - he made 17 from 12 balls, with three fours - and a solid 39 from opener Pinal Shah made sure they were never really in trouble chasing a low score. Ketan Panchal and Abhimanyu Chauhan finished the job, putting on 25 for the seventh wicket, to take Baroda to second place in the West Zone points table, behind Mumbai.
Uttar Pradesh's on-off chase ultimately ended in a narrow three-run win for Vidarbha at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Faced with a target of 149, Rohit Srivastava started with a six but fell in the first over. UP then raced to 54 in six overs, courtesy captain Mohammad Kaif's 41 off 25 deliveries. However, Vidarbha struck with a clutch of wickets as UP subsided to a woeful 109 for 8 in the 17th over. Just when it appeared they were out of the game, RP Singh and Kamran Khan brought them back with a 36-run stand in 21 balls. However, with four runs needed, RP was run out off the penultimate ball of the match. Umesh Yadav bowled Sudeep Tyagi off the last ball as UP lost their third game in four matches. Vidarbha's total of 148 was built largely around opener Amol Ubarhande's 72 that came in 59 deliveries.
Murtaza Ali's hurricane half-century set up Madhya Pradesh's crushing 66-run win against Rajasthan at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Coming in after Monish Mishra and Naman Ojha had got MP off to a quick start, Murtaza built on the momentum, smashing five sixes in his unbeaten 67 that came off 35 deliveries. Despite the fall of some late wickets, his assault lifted MP to 165. Dishant Yagnik began well for Rajasthan, but fast bowler TP Sudhindra's triple strike in two overs reduced them to 35 for 4. They never recovered after that, and Akash Chopra was the only batsman to make more than 20. All the MP bowlers were among the wickets as Rajasthan were dismissed for 99.
Bengal upstaged Orissa by 18 runs at the Sunshine Ground in Cuttack to take the top spot in the East Zone table. Both teams qualified for the knockout stage with wins in their previous games but a collective bowling effort from Bengal helped them make it four in four. The seamers Ashok Dinda and Laxmi Shukla bagged two wickets each while each of the other four bowlers chipped in with a wicket to restrict Orissa in their chase of 133. Things looked upbeat for Orissa when they had raced to 48 for 1 in the sixth over but the middle and lower-order batsmen, while losing their wickets relatively cheaply were also kept quiet and gradually drifted out of contention as the required rate crept up. For Bengal, opener Shreevats Goswami top scored with 43 and added 60 with Anustup Majumdar. Shukla, who starred in an all-round effort, smacked an unbeaten 35, including three sixes, to surge Bengal to 132, a target they defended with ease.
Jharkhand slumped to their fourth straight defeat in the competition, losing to Assam by five wickets at the Ravenshaw College Ground in Cuttack. Ishank Jaggi had helped Jharkhand overcome a poor start by top scoring with an unbeaten 61 and steering them to a competitive 138. He was supported in a 57-run stand by captain Rajiv Kumar and later by wicketkeeper Shiv Gautam. In Assam's response, there were handy contributions from the top and the middle orders, including 46 from Deepak Sharma, who led the chase for the bulk of its duration. Victory was sealed in the final over with four balls to spare, captain Amol Muzumdar remaining unbeaten on 12.