Smit guides Gujarat to title in tense chase
Gujarat 123 for 8 (Smit 50*, Kaul 2-28) beat Punjab 117 for 9 (Dahiya 4-15) by two wickets
Wicketkeeper and opening batsman Smit Patel's unbeaten 50 helped Gujarat ace a tense chase against Punjab to win their second Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title in Bhubaneshwar. Chasing 118, Gujara finished with two wickets and one ball to spare.
Punjab's bowlers kept the defence of a middling total going by striking early, and reducing Gujarat to 19 for 2 by the fifth over. Smit and Rujul Bhatt stitched together a 35-run partnership but that brief period of stability was nearly undone after the side lost three wickets in as many overs to slip from 54 for 2 to 60 for 5 in the 12th. Another small partnership - this time for the sixth wicket between Smit and Jesal Karia - was followed by another slide, leaving Gujarat at 110 for 8 in the 19th over. Smit, however, kept his nerve and guided the side home, finishing unbeaten on 50 off 49 balls, his second successive T20 fifty.
Earlier, Rohit Dahiya's 4 for 15 limited Punjab to 117. Punjab had a promising start after being put in to bat as the openers added 23 in 4.4 overs before Dahiya broke the stand. Gujarat's attack capitalised on the breakthrough and Punjab were quickly reduced to 76 for 5. Dahiya returned towards the end of the innings to limit them further, striking twice in the 19th over as Punjab ended their innings at 117 for 9.