UP, Mumbai qualify for Syed Mushtaq Ali super league; Robin Uthappa becomes 1st batsman to reach 1000 runs in tournament history
Group D fixtures of the 2015/16 season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament came to a conclusion on Friday, and Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai have emerged as the two best teams from the group, while traditional powerhouses Karnataka have bowed out, alongside Maharashtra and Services and bottom-placed Odisha.
With Uttar Pradesh already having sealed their place at the top of the table, the most crucial match of the day was the Mumbai-Maharashtra derby, which took place at the DRIEMS ground in Cuttack.
Mumbai captain Aditya Tare won the toss and sent Maharashtra to bat first, and Dhawal Kulkarni responded with a wicket in the first over. The Kedar Jadhav-led side put up a decent performance in their 20 overs, ending their innings at 155/8.
Pravin Tambe and Dhawal Kulkarni picked up two wickets each and were also the most economical bowlers.
Mumbai started off their reply knowing that anything less than a commanding victory would send them out, and the top order threw caution to the winds, going at a run rate around 10 from the start.
Shreyas Iyer and Aditya Tare’s 49-run partnership set the stage up for an unbroken 83-run 2nd wicket partnership between Tare and Siddhesh Lad. Man of the Match Tare, who came up with a leader’s knock when the occasion demanded, finished not out on 65 off 39 balls, an innings laced with four sixes and three fours.
Both Mumbai and Maharashtra finished with 12 points, but Mumbai went through on superior net run rate. UP’s Piyush Chawla has been Group D’s most successful bowler with 12 wickets, while the most succesful batsmen were UP’s Prashant Gupta with 212 runs and Karnataka’s Robin Uthappa with 205.
Mumbai 157/2 in 16.1 overs (Tare 65, Iyer 38; Bachhav 1/20) beat Maharashtra 155/8 in 20 overs (Bhati 36, Naik 31; Tambe 2/24, Kulkarni 2/28) by 8 wickets
Uttar Pradesh finished the group stages with a pefect unbeaten record, on the back of wicket keeper Eklavya Dwivedi’s 53-ball 89 and a batting collapse from Services. Suresh Raina, who had played in Thursday’s tie, was not in the team but that proved to be no deterrent as in-form UP came out on top by 57 runs.
They finished their group matches with a maximum 20 points.
Uttar Pradesh 182/6 in 20 overs (Dwivedi 89, Prashant 43; Raushan Raj 3/42) beat Services 125/9 in 20 overs (Yashpal 47, Hathwala 31; Saurabh Kumar 2/23, Piyush Chawla 2/25) by 57 runs
Karnataka, who have endured a terrible season in 2015/16, played their last match at the 20-over tournament, managing a win over struggling Odisha, only their second win in the five matches.
Robin Uthappa and Stuart Binny stood tall in a low-scoring match as wickets fell frequently, after spinner Shreyas Gopal and KC Cariappa had played a leading role to blow away Odisha for 102 in their 20 overs.
During his knock, Uthappa became the first batsman to score 1000 runs in the tournament’s history.
Karnataka 106/4 in 17.5 overs (Uthappa 48, Binny 32; Sahu 2/17) beat Odisha 102/7 in 20 overs (Yadav 31; Mithun 2/13, Cariappa 2/14, Gopal 2/15) by 6 wickets