Uttarakhand keep winning streak alive
Uttarakhand continued their remarkable run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2018-19, clocking their fourth victory on the trot by beating Tripura by a handy 37 runs. Uttarakhand are yet to lose a match in the competition, and are currently sitting on top of the Group E table with 16 points.
Put in to bat, Uttarakhand were well served once again by Karn Veer Kaushal, who hit 58 off 44 balls opening the innings. Vaibhav Panwar also made 46 as Uttarakhand put up a reasonable 147 for five.
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Tripura's reply ran into early trouble and never recovered, as they were bowled out for 110 in 19 overs, Rohit Dangwal taking 3 for 16. Captain Rajat Bhatia took 3 for 29, and outside of a 56-run stand for the fifth wicket in which Manisankar Murasingh contributed 33 in 18 balls, Tripura didn't have any substantial partnerships.
Tamil Nadu sneak past Gujarat in low-scoring contest
A combined effort from Tamil Nadu's bowlers stopped Gujarat at 124, giving TN a one-run win after they had put up 125 for 6 after being put in to bat.
TN were in early trouble at 21 for three, having lost M Vijay and B Indrajith, but steady contributions from the middle order averted a collapse. NS Chaturved (34) and Washington Sundar (33) both scored at less than a run a ball, and N Jagadeesan's 29 boosted TN towards the end.
For Gujarat, Arzan Nagwaswalla had a successful T20 debut with 3 for 11 in four overs, building on the good form he had shown with both white ball and red earlier in the season.
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Gujarat's reply was helmed by Chirag Gandhi, who remained not out on 68 off 66 balls from No. 4, but the next highest score was Nagwaswalla's 12 from No. 10. Gandhi ended with his highest T20 score, but could only watch in frustration as Hardik Patel, the last man, was run out at the bowler's end after a mix up.
Gujarat had slipped to 96 for nine in 16.5 overs with Nagwaswalla's wicket, and Gandhi ensured he farmed the strike as much as possible, facing almost every delivery thereafter. He hit four sixes and an equal number of fours, single-handedly adding 28 runs for the last wicket - 25 off his bat and three extras. With Gujarat 123 for nine and one ball left, Abhishek Tanwar bowled one well wide. The umpire signalled it, but Hardik had run almost down the length of the pitch even as Gandhi stayed put. Before Hardik could scramble back, the ball had been relayed to the bowler, who broke the stumps.
Karnewar's four trumps Khaleel's five
Khaleel Ahmed continued his good form with a first-ever five-wicket haul in T20 cricket, but despite his 5 for 18, Rajasthan lost a low-scoring match against Vidarbha by 44 runs.
Choosing to bat first, Vidarbha were shot out for 117 in 16.5 overs, with Khaleel doing the damage in just 2.5 overs. Vidarbha had started well, but collapsed after being 61 for two in 5.2 overs. Atharva Taide made 23 off 16 at the top of the order while wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma hit 49 off 29, but the rest couldn't contribute too much, with Khaleel taking the last three wickets in five balls.
Rajasthan began steadily, with opener Manender Singh and No. 3 Robin Bist putting on 45 runs off 41 balls for the second wicket, but went from 47 for one to 73 all out. The wrecker in chief was Akshay Karnewar, who took 4 for 7 in 3.5 overs, his best-ever T20 figures. Rajasthan's innings also lasted exactly 16.5 overs, and Karnewar replicated Khaleel's feat in finishing things off with three wickets in the last five balls.
Shaw returns to form
Prithvi Shaw, who had made a tepid comeback from injury in the tournament, returned to form with a blazing 71 off 47, taking Mumbai to a six-wicket win against Goa. Shaw had scored ten, eight and a duck in Mumbai's three previous games, but smashed seven sixes and five fours as Mumbai chased down their target of 141 in just 18.2 overs.
Goa were restricted to 140 for four after choosing to bat. Each of the top four made more than 25, but only captain Amogh Desai (38 off 24) scored at a strike rate better than 120.
In Mumbai's reply, Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane put on 95 in 11.1 overs to set them well on course. Rahane (31 off 25) played second fiddle in the stand, but even though Shaw fell and Shreyas Iyer had a rare failure, Mumbai's fast start meant they completed the chase comfortably.