Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2013-14 March 31, 2014

UP stave off Vidarbha challenge for win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Central Zone

In spite of a mammoth 204 for 5, Uttar Pradesh barely managed to keep Vidarbha at bay, eventually winning their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match by a close margin of nine runs in Nagpur.

UP, who were put in to bat, brushed aside a poor start to post a strong score. They were led by Mukul Dagar, who made a 48-ball 74 and strung good partnerships with Akshdeep Nath (35 off 28 balls) and Piyush Chawla (37 not out off 24). Dagar departed in the 18th over with the score at 154 for 5 but a final impetus came from debutant Rinku Singh, who slammed 24 off 5 balls.

Opener and wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma played a role similar to Dagar's for Vidarbha, compiling a 28-ball 57 with six fours and three sixes. UP's bowlers chipped away at the wickets but Vidarbha stayed afloat as their batsmen kept pace with aggressive shots. That included Umesh Yadav at No. 9 who struck 23 off 7 balls with three sixes and a four. Yadav was dismissed by Imtiaz Ahmed in the last over and the last-wicket pair of Amol Jungade and Swapnil Bandiwar failed to get the required runs for their side.

Ankit Lamba's half-century and Gajendra Singh's 4 for 30 led Rajasthan to a 20-run win against Madhya Pradesh in Nagpur. Rajasthan's openers got off to a flier after losing the toss, adding 64 in 6.4 overs before Suryaprakash Suwalka was dismissed for 41 off 24 balls. Lamba carried on to score 74 off 55 balls, while Naresh Gehlot made 36 to lead Rajasthan to 177 for 5.

Most of MP's batsmen got off to starts but Harpreet Singh's 27 was the top score and as a result wickets fell at regular intervals. The chase slumped from 89 for 3 to 125 for 9, and MP were eventually restricted to 157. Gajendra Singh worked his way through the middle order, and was supported by Deepak Chahar, who claimed 2 for 32.

West Zone

Aditya Tare's 55 and a strong bowling performance helped Mumbai secure a six-wicket win over Gujarat in Mumbai. Chasing 127, Tare anchored Mumbai's innings with a 46-ball knock that included four fours and three sixes. Tare was also involved in a 57-run opening stand with Kevin Almeida and his 38-run partnership with Abhishek Nayar helped steady the side after the loss of two quick wickets. Once Tare fell, Nayar saw the side home with a 17-ball 21 that helped Mumbai reach the target with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, a shaky batting performance from Gujarat saw them reach 126 for 9 after they were put in by Mumbai. Parthiv Patel, the hero of their first game, was out for a duck in the first over to Zaheer Khan. Rajdeep Darbar and Rujul Bhatt tried to repair the damage with 47 runs for the second wicket but Gujarat lost wickets in successive overs after Darbar was out and their lower order couldn't add too many runs to the score. Zaheer led Mumbai's attack with figures of 2 for 14, while Prathamesh Dake, Pravin Tambe and Suryakumar Yadav also took two wickets each.

A combined effort by the Maharashtra bowlers pulled off their first victory of the season after keeping Saurashtra to 123. The slide began early with the Sagar Jogiyani and Cheteshwar Pujara being dismissed in the space of four balls. The middle-order's best efforts at a rescue was a 50-run partnership between Jaydev Shah and Sheldon Jackson, but with Ankit Bawne, Chirag Khurana and Domnic Joseph collected two wickets each, Maharashtra were eyeing a modest target.

Saurashtra did push the chase deep into the final over with Arpit Vasavada claiming 3 for 22. Regular wickets kept them in the hunt but Maharashtra needed one batsman to keep going and that was Kedar Jadhav, who produced a fluent 40 to help seal the victory.