Goa's unbeaten run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy extended into the Super League as they defeated Haryana by eight wickets in Rajkot.
Swapnil Asnodkar's unbeaten 70 off 59 balls guided the 117-run chase, helping Goa achieve the target in 18 overs. He had good support from Suraj Dongre and Rohit Asnodkar.
Earlier, Goa's bowlers mad a big contribution to the win, keeping Haryana to 116 for 9. They had an early advantage, reducing Haryana to 36 for 4 in the sixth over and they built on it, in spite of a 40-run, fifth-wicket partnership between Joginder Sharma and Rahul Dalal. Medium-pacer Harshad Gadekar was the most successful bowler for Goa with 2 for 17.
Gujarat rode on left-arm seamer Kamlesh Thakor's 3 for 19 to wrap up a comfortable six-wicket victory over Jharkhand. A feeble target of 109 was mowed down with almost two overs to spare with their captain Akshar Patel remaining unbeaten on 46 off 37. He struck six fours, and his presence nullified the impact of two quick wickets as the chase went into the final five overs.
Jharkhand never got going after they chose to bat. They lost three wickets in the powerplay and their rebuilding efforts were hampered by regular wickets. Kumar Deobrat was the top-scorer with 25 off 19, but six of his colleagues had a strike-rate less than hundred. All of Gujarat's bowlers managed to pick up wickets and only one of them went at over run-a-ball.
In the first Group B match between the toppers of the east and the west zones, Baroda's bowlers prevailed over Bengal and helped clinch an easy seven-wicket win at the Bandra-Kurla Complex ground in Mumbai.
Opting to bowl, Baroda put immediate pressure on the opposition by getting rid of the Bengal openers in the first five overs. The innings never really recovered as Bengal batsmen failed to construct any meaningful partnerships. Sanjib Sanyal, the Bengal captain, top-scored with 13 in a total of 96 as the trio of Lukman Meriwala, Hardik Pandya and Abhijit Karambelkar finished with combined figures of 12-1-51-9.
Baroda openers then gave their team a solid start adding 37 and despite the loss of two quick wickets in the seventh and the eighth overs, the team was never in trouble. Deepak Hooda and Rakesh Solanki scored an unbeaten 39 for the third wicket to help Baroda cross the line in 14 overs.
Kerala pipped Delhi by 14 runs at Wankhede Stadium to procure a winning start to the Super League. The target of 151 was not beyond Delhi's reach, despite being without their captain Gautam Gambhir, but none of their batsmen could build on their starts. KJ Rakesh was the most influential factor in the victory, taking 3 for 34 and also contributing 36 with the bat.
Having been put in, VA Jagadeesh smashed 52 off 36 balls, including nine fours to fuel Kerala's opening stand of 89. The rest of the batting failed to gather similar momentum. Javed Khan (2 for 22) took two wickets in four balls which aided in muffling the charge.
The chase was maligned by early wickets but Nagar and Jagrit Anand offered some stability with a 34-run parthership for the fourth wicket. There was little resistance since that stand until No. 9 Sood struck 22 off 13 balls but victory was firmly beyond Delhi when he fell in the final over.
Harshad Hanumant Gadekar
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Indian Domestic Season