Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Super League Roundup: Pathan's all round performance in vain; Shreyas Iyer dazzles
In a nail-biter at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, Kerala defeated Baroda by 4 wickets in a Group A game of the Super League stage in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2015-16. Kerala won the toss and put Baroda in, as has been the case with teams winning the toss, with almost all of them preferring to chase targets.
The Baroda duo of Mrunal Devdhar and Kedar Devdhar added 33 runs in the first 4 overs before Mrunal was sent back by Manu Krishnan. This was followed by Hardik Pandya's wicket who was trapped leg-before by Prasanth Padmanabhan.
Kedar and Yusuf Pathan carried on from there and took the score to 81 before they both departed in consecutive overs leaving Baroda tottering at 87/4 by the 14th over. A finishing touch was required in the last 5 overs and that's when Deepak Hooda and Irfan Pathan stepped in and made sure that the side reached a respectable total of 160.
Hooda made 32(16) and Pathan's 35(18) helped Baroda set Kerala 161 to win.
Kerala's reply seemed to go nowhere when Pathan and Munaf Patel destroyed their top order leaving them struggling at 15/3 in the 5th over. N Surendran and Sachin Baby then steadied the ship and took the score to 74, before an inspired bowling change by Irfan saw his elder brother Yusuf dismiss Surendran in his first over.
Baby then tried to raise the tempo with a few big hits in Yusuf's next over but R Arothe halted his run by getting him caught.
The required run rate had touched 15 by then, but Raiphi Gomez and Padmanabhan displayed excellent power hitting under pressure, first by hitting Pandya for a couple of boundaries and then Patel for consecutive sixes in the penultimate over to leave just 11 runs for the last over.
Gomez sealed the deal in the final over with a four and a six, thereby leading his side to victory.
Brief Scores: Kerala (toss) 164/6 (Gomez 47*, Pathan 2/14) beat Baroda 160/6 (Pathan 38, Padmanabhan 2/15) by 6 wickets.
In the second game between Mumbai and Vidarbha, the Mumbai captain Aditya Tare won the toss and asked Vidarbha to bat. Jitesh Mohan Sharma, hit a brilliant half century at the top of the order, and along with his 56, middle order cameos by Ganesh Satish, Apoorv Wankhade, and Urvesh Patel who made 25, 36, and 31 helped Vidarbha reach an above par score of 181/4.
In reply, Mumbai recovered from the early setback of Akhil Herwadkar, and riding high on captain Tare and Shreyas Iyer's attacking batting, reached 70/1 in 6 overs. Urvesh Patel halted this stand by sending back Tare, but neither he nor the rest of the spinners could stop the flow of runs.
Mumbai were also aided by the bloopers in the field by Vidarbha fielders who dropped multiple catches. In the end, Iyer's 86 off 51 saw them through easily.
Brief Scores: Mumbai (toss) 182/5 (Iyer 86, Thakur 2/32) beat Vidarbha 181/4 (Sharma 56, Trivedi 2/44) by 5 wickets.
In a Group B clash, Delhi beat Jharkhand by 5 wickets as Nitish Rana's 60 helped them overhaul the target of 135 with two overs to spare. Jharkhand could only manage 134/7 aided by Virat Singh's 45 and Ishank Jaggi's 42. Parvinder Awana took three wickets for Delhi. Dhruv Shorey and Pawan Negi made 34 and 20 respectively to help Rana in seeing their side through.
Brief Scores: Delhi (toss) 138/5 (Rana 60, Aaron 3/27) beat Jharkhand 134/7 ( Virat 45, Awana 3/28) by 5 wickets.
In the second game of the group, Uttar Pradesh easily defeated Gujarat by 7 wickets as Samarth Singh led their run chase of 166 with an inspired unbeaten 65 helped by Suresh Raina's 12-ball 22, Umang Sharma and Eklavya Dwivedi. Batting first Gujarat managed a par score of 165/6 with MC Juneja and Chirag Gandhi making 54 and 41 respectively. Praveen Kumar took two wickets while Piyush Chawla got one.
Brief Scores: UP 167/3 (toss) (Singh 65, Kalaria 2/19) beat Gujarat 165/6 (Juneja 54, Kumar 2/32) by 7 wickets.