Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Nathu Singh stakes claim for World T20 squad, Delhi score highest total in tournament history
Harbhajan Singh and Nathu Singh produced two of the best bowling performances on the second day of action in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but there were contrasting results in store for their respective teams in Group B, as Punjab beat J&K while Rajasthan went down to Kerala.
In his 4 overs, Punjab captain Harbhajan bowled 16 dot balls and claimed 3 wickets, giving away only 8 runs. His magical bowling spell helped Punjab bowl J&K out for a paltry 105, which was overhauled with more than 5 overs to spare.
This was a vital win for Punjab, who had lost their first match to Rajasthan. Rajasthan lost to Kerala, despite another magical spell by 20-year-old pacer Nathu Singh, who bowled 16 dot balls and took 4 wickets in his 4 overs. The team could not rally around Nathu’s bowling, however, as they fell short of Kerala’s score by 18 runs.
1-run victory for Karnataka after dramatic last over
In Group D, traditional powerhouses Karnataka and Mumbai were involved in a thrilling match which went down to the wire, as they attempt to chase group leaders Uttar Pradesh. Robin Uthappa and Stuart Binny were among the runs as Karnataka put up 162 on board in their 20 overs.
In reply, Shreyas Iyer’s 32 and Aditya Tare’s 28 got Mumbai off to a good start, but a collapse from the lower order put the game in the balance. Mumbai needed 2 runs off the last 2 balls of the match, but 2 wickets were had instead – Abhishek Nayar falling for 49, and Pravin Tambe run out in an attempt to tie the match.
This Karnataka-Mumbai match has to go down as one of the most thrilling T20 encounters in the history of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Nitish Rana’s 97 pushes Delhi past record score
In Group C, Delhi scored a mammoth 236/9 against Andhra Pradesh, beating the record for the highest team score at the tournament. The previous highest was 233/3 by Gujarat against Kerala in 2013.
The bulk of the scoring was done by middle order batsman Nitish Rana, who scored 97 off 40 balls, smashing 8 sixes and 8 fours. It was one of the knocks of the season by the youngster, who is also affiliated to Mumbai Indians, as Andhra folded meekly for 125 in reply – a 111-run victory, a margin seldom seen in T20 cricket.
In other matches on the day, Tamil Nadu moved atop Group A courtesy a thumping 69-run victory over Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh stayed on top of Group C with a comfortable 7-wicket win against Goa.
Hyderabad beat Himachal by 14 runs (Ashish Reddy 37);
Kerala beat Rajasthan by 18 runs (Sanju Samson 25, Nathu Singh 4/13, Rajat Bhatia 42*);
Baroda beat Railways by 9 runs (Hardik Pandya 54, Yusuf Pathan 41*, Deepak Hooda 3/23);
Delhi beat Andhra by 111 runs (Nitish Rana 97);
Jharkhand beat Tripura by 9 wickets (Ishank Jaggi 75*, Virat Singh 65);
Maharashtra beat Services by 31 runs;
Karnataka beat Mumbai by 1 run;
Uttar Pradesh beat Odisha by 32 runs;
Gujarat beat Vidarbha by 60 runs (Parthiv Patel 59, Jasprit Bumrah 3/16);
Tamil Nadu beat Bengal by 69 runs (Abhinav Mukund 41);
Madhya Pradesh beat Goa by 7 wickets;
Punjab beat J&K by 8 wickets (Mandeep Singh 58*, Harbhajan Singh 3/8)