Punjab, Himachal through to Super League
Three wickets apiece from Sandeep Sharma and Yuvraj Singh ensured Punjab crushed Himachal Pradesh by 97 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Both Punjab and Himachal, however, have qualified for the Super League, beginning on April 1, by virtue of finishing first and second respectively in the group.
Chasing 174, Himachal lost wickets right from the off, with only two batsmen reaching double digits, and their highest score coming from Pankaj Jaiswal (20) at No.11. Sandeep picked up 3 for 21 and also effected a run-out to dismantle Himachal's top order, while Yuvraj snared 3 for 26 to run through the tail.
Earlier, Punjab, opting to bat, had made 173 for 7. While no one was able to raise a half-century, most of their top and middle-order batsmen chipped in with handy knocks. Mandeep Singh was the team's top-scorer, blasting 37 off 25 balls, while Himanshu Chawla hit 30 off 16. Bipul Sharma shone for Himachal by ending with figures of 3 for 20, and he was one of only two bowlers to go at under seven an over.
Having been inserted, Haryana's top order all made starts, but it was a 64-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Sachin and Rahul Dalal which propelled the team to 160 for 6. Sachin did the bulk of the scoring, his 23-ball 50 featuring five fours and three sixes.
J&K began the chase strongly through a 50-run opening stand between Adil Reshi and Ian Dev Singh, but Reshi's wicket in the seventh over punctured the team's momentum, as the likes of Sachin (2 for 24), Jayant Yadav (2 for 23) and Harshal Patel (1 for 25) kept them in check with wickets at regular intervals.
Ian Dev remained unbeaten on 75, but received little by way of support from his team-mates, as J&K could only muster 136 for 6 from their 20 overs.
Delhi's chase got their first jolt when captain Unmukt Chand was trapped lbw by Shadab Nazar for 5. Aditya Kaushik and Nitish Rana then compiled 77 for the second wicket before Rajat Paliwal struck in the 13th over to remove Kaushik leaving Delhi at 91 for 2.
The match then took an unexpected turn as Lakhan Singh picked up three wickets and inflicted a run-out as Delhi lost four wickets for 4 runs in the 20th over. The game was tied and a super over ensued.
Delhi scored 19 for 1 in the Super Over while Services could muster just five for the loss of one wicket.
Having been put in, Hyderabad racked up 162 for 5 in their 20 overs, opener Suman setting the tempo with a 60-ball 100 even as other batsmen found it difficult to score as freely. Suman smashed seven sixes and nine fours before being dismissed by Ronit More, who was the only Karnataka bowler with an economy-rate of less than seven.
Karnataka got off to a rocky start in their reply, as Ashish Reddy reduced them to 3 for 2 at the end of the first over. Karnataka were then reduced to 16 for 3 when Ashish struck again in the third over to remove Gneshwar Naveen before taking the catch to dismiss Karun Nair.
Karnakata's middle-order attempted to stabilise the innings through Manish Pandey and David Mathias, but their 36 run stand ended when Mathias was cleaned up by Akash Bhandari in the 11th over.
With half the Karnataka side dismissed and 111 still required from 55 balls, Shreyas Gopal tried to revive the chase by smashing 39 off 22, but fell to Pragyan Ojha in the 17th over. Chama Milind picked up Pandey's wicket seven balls later to put the match all but out of Karnataka's reach.
Tamil Nadu produced a disciplined bowling performance to restrict Goa to 116, and chased it down with six wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare in Kochi.
After Tamil Nadu's openers, H Gopinath and L Suryaprakash, departed inside the first eight overs, the twins - B Indrajith (42 off 32 balls) and Aparajith (41) - put on 47 runs to ensure there were no hiccups in the chase.
Goa's innings went exactly the opposite way, as they lost wickets at frequent intervals after electing to bat. Tamil Nadu captain R Sathish, after dismissing opener Swapnil Asnodkar (27 off 20 balls), removed Sagun Kamat and Rajashekhar Harikant to reduce Goa to 65 for 4.
Things went downhill after Goa lost two more batsmen for the addition of 14 runs. Darshan Misal's 27-ball 32 gave a semblance of respectability to the scorecard.
Andhra held their nerve to clinch a four-wicket victory off the last ball against Kerala in Kochi.
Set 149 for the win, Andhra lost their openers Srikar Bharat and Prasanth Kumar early, but Mohammad Kaif and Ricky Bhui steadied the innings, adding 54 for the third wicket. However, Andhra suffered another setback when both players departed in the space of two overs.
It left AG Pradeep and Naren Reddy with the bulk of the responsibility to steer the team home, and the pair obliged, adding 40 crucial runs in four overs. Naren fell after slamming 25 off 12 balls, and with 12 needed off the last nine deliveries, Pradeep (22*) and Ashwin Hebbar (11*) eventually sealed the win.
Kerala's innings of 148 for 7 had been built around handy knocks from Sanju Samson (26), Rohan Prem (26) and Sachin Baby (22), and a late burst from Jafar Jamal who smashed a 23-ball 38. For Andhra, Cheepurapalli Stephen and Bandaru Ayyapu claimed two scalps apiece.
Jharkhand's decision to insert the home side appeared to be a masterstroke, as Odisha were 3 for 4 after three overs, and then 14 for 5, Rituraj Singh and Vikash Kumar picking up two wickets apiece.
But then Sarangi and Arabind counterattacked with a 97-run stand in 12 overs. Even after Arabind's dismissal in the 18th over, Sarangi stayed firm at one end to take the score to 140.
While Jharkhand lost wickets at regular intervals, they seemed reasonably placed at 56 for 4 in 10.1 overs. However, Biplab Samantray (3 for 9) and Jayanta Behera (2 for 11) instigated a collapse, as the visitors lost three wickets for eight runs in three overs. Jharkhand's chase went southwards from thereon, and they folded up for 93 in 18.1 overs.
Opting to bat, Bengal lost Abhishek Das early, but counterattacked through an 86-run, second-wicket stand between Saha and Chatterjee. Though Saha fell for a 30-ball 62 in the ninth over, Chatterjee carried on and batted Tripura out of the game, combining with Shreevats Goswami (45*) for a fourth-wicket association which yielded 109 runs. Chatterjee eventually made 89 off 52 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes, as Bengal compiled a mammoth 210 for 4.
Tripura never really looked like hunting down such a large total, and three wickets from Amit Kuila, including two in the 16th over, ensured Bengal skittled them out for 161. Tripura's opener Udiyan Bose top-scored with 45, and Manisankar Murasingh and Swapan Das contributed twenties, but it was never going to be enough.
Rajasthan, opting to bat, were rattled early, as Upadhyay wrecked their top and middle order on his way to collecting 3 for 25. It left Rajasthan precariously placed at 78 for 5, but Ankit Lamba's counterattacking 66 followed by an unbeaten 21 from Dishant Yagnik down the order lifted the team to 145 for 7.
However, that total hardly proved to be a challenge for Railways, who got off to a flying start as their openers Pathan and Vivek Singh compiled 63 in 6.1 overs. Vivek fell for 31, but Pathan added a further 47 runs with Arindam Ghosh. Pathan couldn't quite see off the chase, falling in the 13th over, but Mahesh Rawat slammed five fours during a 17-ball 28, ensuring that Railways were home with 16 deliveries remaining.
Madhya Pradesh completed a 10-wicket win with seven overs remaining over Vidarbha in a match that was settled by the VJD method in Indore.
Opting to bat, Vidarbha's innings was a struggle throughout, as they found themselves on 23 for 5 and 44 for 7 at different stages, before being bowled out for 89 in 19.5 overs.
The home side's bowling on the other hand was stifling; save for Ankit Sharma, not one bowler conceded more than five runs an over. Yogesh Singh Rawat was the pick of them, claiming three wickets for 12 runs.
Asked to bat, Gujarat lost Parthiv Patel early in the piece, but a 49-run stand between Juneja and Panchal set the tone for the team's aggressive approach.
After Juneja was the fourth batsman out with the score on 126, Gujarat scored 56 runs in the remaining 29 deliveries - Chirag Gandhi (38 off 23) and Jesal Karia (27 off 14) the chief contributors - to finish with 182.
Gujarat replied in right earnest, with the top-three batsmen - Sheldon Jackson (38 off 29), Cheteshwar Pujara (23 off 19) and Jaydev Shah (32 off 21) - providing a strong base. But Shah's dismissal off the last ball of the 14th over meant Saurashtra needed a further 73 runs, an ask that proved too steep.
The match between Baroda and Maharashtra in Pune was called off owing to bad weather.