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137/6 (20)
138/3 (17.3)
Maharashtra won by 7 wickets
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The inevitable has happened! Maharashtra were clinical in their approach and gave no opening to Punjab bowlers. Ruturaj Gaikwad the top scorer was the protagonist of a risk-free, sensible and dominating chase by Maharashtra. He was given excellent support initially from Naushad Shaikh and then from Azim Kazi. The chase didn't start on a pleasant note for Maharashtra as Yash Nahar departed for a duck but that was a mere aberration by them.

The Punjab bowlers did not bowl particularly well. They bowled short, wide, giving batsmen too much room to score off. The field placements were quite defensive since the end of powerplay allowing Ruturaj & Co to pick easy singles and occasionally doubles. Sanvir Singh and Abhishek Sharma bowled well but the lack of runs to play with didnโ€™t allow them to bowl more aggressively as that sometimes backfires. Mayank Markande was targeted by Ruturaj Gaikwad which hampered Mayankโ€™s confidence giving away more runs in his second over.

The importance of partnerships in our game doesnโ€™t fade away with different formats. Because a team game would require you to play collectively and it makes the job easier. Gurkeerat Singh Mann couldn't get the support Gaikwad got and we could see the difference of that today.

Maharashtra beat Punjab by 7 wickets with 5 balls to spare.

So that is it from this encounter between Punjab and Maharashtra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. We hope you enjoyed the coverage as much as we did bringing it to you. Until next time, this is me Anavit Naik with my expert co-commentator Karthik Raj signing off. Take care!
17.3 Arshdeep Singh to Azim Kazi, full delivery, Azim drives it to mid-off for a quick single. This seals a comfortable seven-wicket victory with 15 balls to spare!
17.2 Arshdeep Singh to Azim Kazi, full delivery, Azim drives it straight for a boundary. FOUR!! Cracking stroke from the southpaw!
17.1 Arshdeep Singh to Azim Kazi, short delivery, Azim looks to pull but he misses it
Divyang Higanekar, right-hand bat walks out to the crease

Arshdeep Singh comes back to bowl his last over
17
overs
133 /3 score
2
2
0
1
4
W
runs
cricket bat icon Ruturaj Gaikwad *
80 (54)
cricket bat icon Azim Kazi
23 (23)
cricket ball icon Siddarth Kaul
1 /24
16.6 Siddarth Kaul to Ruturaj Gaikwad, length delivery wide of off, Ruturaj comes down and slashes it to backward point where the fielder takes a cracking catch. WICKET!!
16.5 Siddarth Kaul to Ruturaj Gaikwad, full-toss, Ruturaj swings it to the right of deep mid-wicket for a boundary. FOUR!!
16.4 Siddarth Kaul to Azim Kazi, full outside-off, Azim pushes it to point for a quick single
16.3 Siddarth Kaul to Azim Kazi, short outside-off, Azim leaves it alone. The umpire signals one bouncer for the over
16.2 Siddarth Kaul to Azim Kazi, length delivery, Azim flicks it wide of deep mid-wicket for another brace
16.1 Siddarth Kaul to Azim Kazi, full and slow, Azim pushes it wide of the sweeper for a couple of runs
Siddarth Kaul to bowl the next over

It is just about time for the inevitable to happen. But Gaikwad learned from his previous mistake which ultimately caused them the match last time around
16
overs
124 /2 score
4
1
2
0
1
0
runs
cricket bat icon Ruturaj Gaikwad *
76 (52)
cricket bat icon Azim Kazi
18 (19)
cricket ball icon Arshdeep Singh
0 /22
15.6 Arshdeep Singh to Ruturaj Gaikwad, full delivery, Ruturaj looks to flick but he gets a leading edge roll towards backward point. No run
15.5 Arshdeep Singh to Azim Kazi, low full-toss, Azim flicks it to deep square-leg for a single
15.4 Arshdeep Singh to Azim Kazi, full outside-off, Azim looks to drive but he inside-edges it onto his pad. No run
15.3 Arshdeep Singh to Azim Kazi, length delivery, Azim edges it to third-man for a couple of runs
15.2 Arshdeep Singh to Ruturaj Gaikwad, full outside-off, Ruturaj opens the bat face and plays it to deep backward point. Single taken
15.1 Arshdeep Singh to Ruturaj Gaikwad, length delivery, Ruturaj comes down and drives it wide of long-off for a boundary!! EXQUISITE!! 
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