Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, Group A: 3 top bowling performances

Abhishek Sharma was on fire in Lucknow earlier today (Image Courtesy: BCCI)
Abhishek Sharma was on fire in Lucknow earlier today (Image Courtesy: BCCI)
Vinay Chhabria

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021/22 began earlier today in various parts of India. 38 teams from across the nation are a part of this domestic T20 competition. Six teams, namely Punjab, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa and Odisha are in the tournament's Elite Group A.

All six teams of the Elite Group A were in action during the opening day of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021/22. Lucknow played host to all three games. Defending champions Tamil Nadu got off to a winning start against Maharashtra, while Odisha defeated Goa in a close encounter.

Punjab registered a comfortable win against Pondicherry and attained the top position in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021/22 Elite Group A standings at the end of Day 1. Bowlers ruled the roost in the Elite Group A matches of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021/22 that happened earlier today.

In this listicle, we will look at the top three bowling performances from the three Elite Group A games.

3. Murugan Ashwin - 2/18 vs. Maharashtra

Tamil Nadu leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin starred in his team's victory against Maharashtra at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium. Playing under Vijay Shankar's captaincy, Tamil Nadu scored 167 runs for the loss of four wickets in their 20 overs.

In reply, Maharashtra got off to a brilliant start thanks to skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad's half-century. However, Ashwin trapped Gaikwad in front of his stumps, and then Tamil Nadu bounced back into the match.

Ashwin also scalped the wicket of YJ Nahar and ended his four-over spell with figures of 2/18. Ultimately, his performance helped Tamil Nadu beat Maharashtra by 12 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

2. Siddarth Kaul - 3/6 vs. Pondicherry

Siddarth Kaul did not impress much while playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad during IPL 2021. However, the right-arm pacer brought his 'A' game to the table while playing for Punjab in their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Pondicherry.

Kaul bowled a magnificent spell of 3/6 in just 2.5 overs to help his team bowl their rivals out for just 106 runs. Notably, he took all three wickets in the final over and denied Pondicherry a score close to 120.

The Punjab pacer dismissed M Viknesh and Subodh Bhatu on the first deliveries. Kaul ended the innings by rattling Vijay's stumps on the innings' penultimate ball.

1. Abhishek Sharma - 3/7 vs. Pondicherry

Captain Abhishek Sharma led Punjab from the front in their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Pondicherry. While Siddarth Kaul did not allow Pondicherry to finish the innings in a grand way, Sharma ensured the Pondicherry innings did not get off to a good start.

Sharma opened the bowling and sent S Karthik and Pavan Deshpande back into the dressing room in the first over itself. Pondicherry captain Rohit D also got run out in the same over. On the first ball of his second over, Sharma scalped Paras Dogra's wicket to leave Pondicherry reeling at 3/4 after 2.1 overs.

Sagar Trivedi's 44-run knock took Pondicherry's score past 100. However, a half-century from Abhishek ensured that Punjab won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game by eight wickets with 43 balls to spare.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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