Dagar fifty gives UP big win

A round-up of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy matches played on April 9, 2014

Group A

A three-wicket haul from the seamer Akshdeep Nath, followed by a quick fifty from the opener Mukul Dagar helped Uttar Pradesh cruise to an eight-wicket win against Jharkhand in Rajkot. Jharkhand, put in to bat, began solidly with Ishank Jaggi and Ishan Kishan adding 48 for the opening wicket, but Kishan's dismissal in the ninth over saw the team limp to just 114 for 6 from their 20 overs. Nath finished with 3 for 20, while Praveen Kumar and Praveen Gupta chipped in with a scalp each. Uttar Pradesh were never really troubled chasing a paltry total, as Dagar drilled 10 fours during a 45-ball 63, and added 60 for the second wicket with Eklavya Dwivedi (37) to seal the victory inside 15 overs.
Avi Barot's half-century and Nitin Saini's unbeaten cameo at the death ushered Haryana to a six-wicket victory to claim their first points in the Super League of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The target of 147 became less threatening after an opening stand of 94 in 68 balls. Barot was the driving force with 56 off 37 balls, including eight fours and a six. But Gujarat offspinner Jay Desai (3 for 30) was key in dismissing three batsmen for two runs as the final five overs approached. Saini was steadfast and his 27 off 17 balls brought victory with three balls to spare.
Gujarat's decision to bat backfired as they lost two quick wickets, but Himalaya Barad led middle-order fightback which hiked the total up to 146. Two fours and three sixes could have been part of his maiden T20 fifty, but he missed out by two runs.

Group B

Lukman Meriwala's 5 for 23 - the third five-wicket haul of the tournament - helped Baroda protect their top spot in Group B of the Super League with a 16-run victory over Delhi. A middling target of 132 looked beyond reach as the left-arm seamer ripped out Delhi's top three before the score was in double figures. Jagrit Anand (54) and Yogesh Nagar (31) halted the collapse with a 70-run union for the fourth wicket. But they were the only two players to cross 10 runs as Munaf Patel and Hardik Pandya took four wickets between them and Meriwala claimed his fifth to keep the score to 115 for 9.
Baroda were steady with the bat after winning the toss, but they struggled to push on. Three of their top four had strike rates below 100 with Delhi swapping their bowlers around to stifle the scoring. The score had just crossed 100 in the 18th over when Pandya came in and blitzed 22 off 8 balls, including a six and two fours to set up the match-winning total.
Left-arm spinner Gajendra Singh snared three wickets to help Rajasthan to a 14-run win against Bengal in Mumbai. Rajasthan, batting first, made 137 for 9 on the back of important contributions from their top order. Ankit Lamba (37), Divya Pratap Singh (30) and Rajesh Bishnoi (36) all chipped in with thirties, while Aditya Garhwal (20) added a late surge at No.7, with none of the other players reaching double digits. Saurasish Lahiri was the pick of Bengal's bowlers, finishing with 3 for 28, while Sayan Mondal, Sanjib Sanyal and Sandipan Das shared six wickets between them. Bengal, however, were unable to gather any momentum during their chase, as the loss of wickets at regular intervals hurt their progress. Vivek Singh top-scored with 48, but none of the other batsmen could make more than 19, as Gajendra (3-14) and Rituraj Singh (2-11) suffocated the team's top and middle order to leave Bengal 14 runs short.