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Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy super league stage decided; Hardik Pandya hits five sixes in an over and takes 3 wickets

There was heartbreak in store, however, for Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Saurashtra and Punjab on the final day of group stage action

Hardik Pandya of Baroda was the man of the day on the final day of Mushtaq Ali league stages

There was joy in store on the final day of leauge stage action of the Syed Mushtaq Ali 2015/16 Trophy for Vidarbha, Gujarat and Jharkhand, as they completed the super league stage line up of 8 teams. There was heartbreak in store, however, for Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Saurashtra and Punjab, all four of whom had entered the last day with a realistic chance of progressing.

Gujarat and Vidarbha qualified from Group A, with respective wins against Haryana and Himachal. RP Singh and Jasprit Bumrah were on target with their bowling, to bowl out bottom-placed Haryana for a measly 95. Parthiv Patel continued his scintillating form with a 20-ball 51* as Gujarat romped home in 6.4 overs.

Patel finished the group stages as the tournament’s highest scorer, having hit his fourth fity in six opportunities.

Vidarbha made their way through courtesy a 106 from unheralded 22-year-old Jitesh Sharma and a hat-trick by Akshay Wakhare. Himachal, who also had a chance of qualifying for the super league, did not have anybody turning up for them on the day, except Bipul Sharma whose 2/23 and 58 showed some glimmer of hope till the 17th over.

Tamil Nadu, who also won on Sunday, a 4-wicket victory against Hyderabad, were eliminated because they had an inferior run rate to Gujarat’s. Dinesh Karthik’s 43  formed the spine of Tamil Nadu’s chase of a target of 141, which they achieved with 8 balls to spare. They, however, were beaten by Gujarat, whose heavily one-sided victory helped them trump TN on run rate.

Brief Scores – Gujarat 99/1 in 6.4 ovs (Parthiv 51*, Dahiya 40*) beat Haryana 95 all out in 20 overs (Hooda 24, Bumrah 3/10, RP Singh 3/16) by 9 wickets

Vidarbha 183/6 in 20 overs (Sharma 106, Bipul 2/23) beat Himachal 156 all out in 19.5 overs (Bipul 58, Wakhare 4/18) by 27 runs

Tamil Nadu 141/6 in 18.4 overs (Karthik 43, Mukund 31) beat Hyderabad 140/8 in 20 overs (Ali 35, M Ashwin 3/18, Koushik 3/20) by 4 wickets

Kerala and Jharkhand qualified from Group B, courtesy a superlative show of batting under pressure by Ishank Jaggi. Kerala had already qualified, not having lost a game before this, and Jharkhand beat them on the day with 1 over and 6 wickets to spare, to accompany them.

Sanju Samson’s 53-ball 87 took Kerala to 169, which Jharkhand chased down with a collective effort from the team, rounded up by Jaggi’s 32-ball 45*.

The high-profile Punjab vs Saurashtra match failed to live up to expectations, as big guns Cheteshwar Pujara and Yuvraj failed to fire, and both teams failed to qualify despite Saurashtra’s 19-run win.

Sheldon Jackson, Jaydev Shah and Chirag Jani all reached their 30s and all the bowlers put in a good shift as Saurashtra put up a convincing performance. However, this result was to prove inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things as Jharkhand completed a victory, despite looking down the barrel at a stage.

Brief Scores – Jharkhand 174/4 in 19 overs (Jaggi 45) beat Kerala (Samson 87, Nadeem 3/31) by 4 wickets

Saurashtra 167/5 in 20 overs (Jani 39*) beat Punjab 148 all out in 19.2 overs (H Chawla 54, Unadkat 3/19) by 19 runs

Delhi and Baroda, who met each other on Sunday, were the two teams to have already qualified from Group C, but there was much drama in store in this encounter. Hardik Pandya, the man of the moment who will soon join the Indian contingent in Australia, hit five sixes in an over, in almost a perfect replay of an incident which had happened on the same day 28 years ago – Ravi Shastri’s six sixes in an over.

Pandya also came to haunt Delhi with the ball in hand, exposing the middle order with his spell of 3/13. Promising youngster Nitish Rana continued his good form with a 29-ball 53, but the match still looked tilted in Baroda’s favour. All-rounder Pawan Negi emerged as Delhi’s hero in the end, his 9-ball 18* taking them over the line with 3 balls to spare.

Brief Scores – Delhi 156/5 in 19.3 overs (Rana 53, Chand 38, Pandya 3/13) beat Baroda 153/6 in 20 overs (Pandya 81*, Manan 4/17) by 5 wickets

Teams to have qualified – Gujarat, Vidarbha, Kerala, Jharkhand, Delhi, Baroda, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai

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