Gujarat, Baroda off to winning starts
Parthiv Patel helped defending champions Gujarat get off to a winning start in the opening day of the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, scoring 70 to set up a comprehensive 62-run win over Maharashtra in Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex. Maharashtra were tottering at 43 for 6 in response to 171 and they ultimately folded for 109.
Parthiv, opening the innings, was involved in a stand of 80 for the third wicket with Venugopal Rao, who scored 47. The pair came in in the 9th over with the score on 65 and the stand was broken when Parthiv was dismissed by Akshay Darekar. Rao scored four fours and two sixes in his 27-ball knock before he was dismissed by Domnic Joseph, who took 3 for 33. Maharashtra stumbled to the seam duo of Mehul Patel and Jasprit Bumrah who shared three top order wickets between them. Akshar Patel and Rohit Dahiya kept the lower order on a leash and took two wickets each to bring the innings to an end in the 18th over.
In the second match of the day, Hardik Pandya's maiden T20 half-century laid the platform for Baroda's comfortable 19-run win against Mumbai. The 20-year-old Pandya hit four sixes and six fours in an unbeaten 57-ball 82 that revived Baroda after a faltering start to a competitive 144. Munaf Patel then lead the bowling with three wickets as Mumbai innings lost way after a steady start.
Pandya was in the middle in the fifth over after Baroda had lost their openers to Dhawal Kulkarni and Suryakumar Yadav, but played a lone hand in resurrecting the innings. He received useful support from Rakesh Solanki, Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan, with whom he added 34, 39 and 46 respectively. But such was his impact in the innings that the Pathans, with scores of 13 each, were distant second to him in terms of runs.
Chasing 145, Mumbai, despite the loss of Kevin Almeida early, were making steady progress - they were 60 for 1 in the eighth over, but the innings slumped when Lukman Meriwala removed Aditya Tare. Mumbai lost their run-scoring momentum as the wickets fell regularly and finished the innings on 125.