UP flattened by Panchal show
Individual brilliance with both bat and ball from Priyank Panchal enabled Gujarat to catch up with Uttar Pradesh in the Group A points table. Opening the innings, the 24-year-old Panchal scored his maiden half-century - 77 off 52 balls - that helped Gujarat set up an imposing total of 184. His 75-run stand for the first wicket with Rajdeep Darbar set the tone for the innings as Gujarat never took the foot off the accelerator. The fifth-wicket pair of Chirag Gandhi and Rohit Dahiya then hit 44 in the last three overs.
UP made an explosive start to their chase and were 76 for 2 in the eighth over when Panchal struck with the ball to remove Umang Sharma. It was Panchal's first T20 wicket and it derailed the innings as none of the following batsmen could script a meaningful stand and UP were eventually bowled out for 150. Panchal picked up three more wickets to return with figures of 4 for 19. Panchal also shone in the field, picking up four catches.
Goa outbatted Jharkhand in a 58-run victory that boosted their chances of qualifying for the top four. Four teams in Group A, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat and Haryana are on eight points and have a chance of qualifying depending on their results in the last league round.
The openers Sagun Kamat and Swapnil Asnodkar added 88 runs for the first wicket in nearly 11 overs and Asnodkar scored a brisk 47-ball 57. Late cameos from Rohit Asnodkar and Keenan Vaz helped the side reach an imposing 172 for 4.
Jharkhand were never in the chase after they were reduced to 39 for 4 in the 10th over and in spite of knocks from Shiv Gautam (30 off 23 balls) and Kaushal Singh (42 off 29 balls), they only managed to reach 114 for 8 in their 20 overs. Gauresh Gawas was the most successful bowler for Goa, with figures of 3 for 18.
The Baroda juggernaut shows no signs of relenting in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. After staying unbeaten in the zonal round of the tournament and winning the first two matches of the Super League stage, Baroda once again produced a dominating performance, this time thumping Rajasthan by ten wickets at the Wankhede Stadium. The win helped Baroda take a four-point lead in the group table over Kerala and Rajasthan with only a game remaining.
Opting to bowl, Baroda kept a leash on Rajasthan's scoring rate in the first half of the innings despite only taking two wickets, but the second half saw Rajasthan stumble spectacularly from a position they could have used as a springboard for late surge. At 74 for 2 in the 14th over, Rajasthan had eight wickets remaining but they lost all of them - three of them in the 18th over bowled by Rishi Arothe - for the addition of only 29 runs to be bowled out for 103. Lukman Meriwala and Hardik Pandya were again economical and shared five wickets between them.
In their response, Baroda trolled to the target with utter ease, the openers completing the chase in the 17th over. Aditya Waghmode was unbeaten on 50 off 54 balls while Kedar Devdhar scored 45 in 42 balls.
Career-best figures of 4 for 6 from left-arm medium-pacer Unnikrishnan Manukrishnan helped Kerala successfully defend a low score of 101 against Bengal. The 19-run loss was the fourth successive one for Bengal, who have lost all their Super League games after finishing unbeaten in the zonal stage.
Chasing a meagre 102, Bengal crumbled for 82. Unnikrishnan dismantled the middle order to leave the side reeling at 46 for 6. In spite of a knock of 27 from Pankaj Shaw, only one of the two batsmen to reach double-figures for Bengal, the side couldn't resuscitate their innings and were all out in the 17th over.
Bengal would have found themselves chasing a much smaller total had it not been for R Prem's 51. Like the Bengal innings, Kerala, too, had only two batsmen scoring in double digits, but Prem's 51 led the side to a score that eventually proved to be just enough.