Hits a six off the penultimate ball; Kerala and Vidarbha have it easy against Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra
Standing amid ruins, debutant Abhinav Manohar towered over the Saurashtra bowlers and took Karnataka to a fighting two-wicket victory with a penultimate ball-six for a place in the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy here on Tuesday.
After Saurashtra’s decision to bat seemed to have backfired on being restricted to 145 for seven despite Sheldon Jackson’s 43-ball 50 (3×4, 3×6), Karnataka found the going tough when reduced to 60 for four in the 10th over.
Abhinav (70 n.o., 49b, 2×4, 6×6) shouldered the responsibility well and dominated the match-turning 64-run stand with Aniruddha Joshi (13).
Though Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat (4/22) returned to add two wickets in his fourth over and Kushang Patel scalped one, Abhinav was not to be denied his moment of glory.
Soon after the dismissal of K.C. Cariappa in the final over, Abhinav sent the fifth ball from Dharmendrasinh Jadeja into the stands behind mid-wicket to script a thrilling win.
In the morning, too, the winning stroke was a six as Vidarbha coasted to a surprisingly easy seven-wicket victory over Maharashtra.
Put in, Maharashtra managed a healthy-looking 157 for eight after comeback-man Rahul Tripathi top-scored with a 45-ball 66 (5×4, 3×6). Following the dismissal of Siddhesh Wath to the first delivery, Vidarbha thwarted Maharashtra with a 96-run stand between skipper Akshay Wadkar (58 n.o., 47b, 7×4) and opener Atharva Taide (56, 38b, 6×4, 1×6).
Kerala opener Mohammad Azharuddeen cracked 60. | Photo Credit: Srihari [email protected]
Jitesh Sharma (28 n.o., 7b, 2×4, 3×6) put the finishing touches with a hat-trick of sixes off Sunil Yadav.
Meanwhile, between the victories of Vidarbha and Karnataka at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground, Kerala cruised to its third successive eight-wicket victory after facing Himachal Pradesh at the Air Force ground.
After opting to bowl and restricting Himachal to 145 for seven, Kerala covered the distance by riding on a 98-run second-wicket stand involving opener Mohammad Azharuddeen (60, 57b, 4×4, 2×6) and skipper Sanju Samson (52 n.o., 39b, 6×4, 1×6).
Though the win came with just three deliveries to spare, Kerala never lost control.
Saurashtra 145/7 in 20 overs (Sheldon Jackson 50) lost to Karnataka 150/8 in 19.5 overs (Abhinav Manohar 70 n.o., Rohan Kadam 33, Jaydev Unadkat 4/22).
Maharashtra 157/8 in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 66, Yash Thakur 3/17) lost to Vidarbha 160/3 in 17.5 overs (Akshay Wadkar 58 n.o., Atharva Taide 56).
Himachal Pradesh 145/6 in 20 overs (Raghav Dhawan 65, Prashant Chopra 36) lost to Kerala 147/2 in 19.3 overs (Mohammad Azharuddeen 60, Sanju Samson 52 n.o.).
Thursday’s quarterfinal line-up:
Rajasthan vs Vidarbha; Bengal vs Karnataka; Tamil Nadu vs Kerala; Gujarat vs Hyderabad.
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