Sagun Kamat continued his good form as Goa finished their zonal commitments with five wins in as many games. © BCCI

Sagun Kamat continued his good form as Goa finished their zonal commitments with five wins in as many games. © BCCI

Delhi won their fifth successive North Zone match, having booked their spot in the second round group after their fourth win on Friday, while Punjab picked up their second win after the one-over eliminator over Jammu & Kashmir on the seventh day of action at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Saturday (April 5).

Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi sat pretty at the top of their respective zone tables, while, among individuals, Ankit Lamba, Rishi Dhawan, Sagun Kamat and Parvez Rasool with the bat and Amit Verma, P Prasanth and Harshal Patel with the ball stood out.

North Zone

Delhi kept up their sequence of victories with a five-wicket win after chasing down Services’ 144 for 6. After Mithun Manhas, the opener, got Delhi off to a strong start, Rajat Bhatia scored an unbeaten 10-ball 30 to power Delhi to victory in 18.2 overs at the Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh.

In the absence of Virender Sehwag, Manhas stitched important partnerships of 36 and 45 at the top with Unmukt Chand and Milind Kumar respectively before Delhi lost wickets in a heap. Sumit Singh picked up three of the five top-order wickets to curb Delhi, but Bhatia’s late fireworks, which included five fours and one six, took the team over the line.

Earlier, while Yashpal Singh, the captain, top scored with 39 off 32 balls for Services, Varun Sood and Pawan Suyal picked up two wickets apiece and Parvinder Awana and Bhatia picked up one each.

At the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, Guntashveer Singh’s 33-ball 48 led Haryana to an important seven-wicket win over Himachal Pradesh, putting them in second place, behind Delhi, on the points table.

Avi Barot managed to get off to a good start with Rahul Dewan, the Haryana captain, adding 41 in four overs, before he was dismissed for 28. Those runs also placed him second among the highest run-scorers in the tournament, with 236 runs at an average of 59. A 62-run stand in 7.4 overs between Guntashveer and Sachin Rana put Haryana in a comfortable position before Rana, unbeaten on 39 off 34 balls, sealed the win with four balls left to play.

Earlier, HP managed to post 146 for 9 after opting to bat, mainly on the back of another top-scoring effort from Rishi Dhawan, who scored 65 off 44. Barring Nikhil Gangta and Sumeet Verma, none of the other batsmen even got to double figures.

Harshal Patel returned 3 for 35 in four overs for Haryana, while both Joginder Sharma and Kuldeep Hooda picked up two wickets apiece.

At the same venue, Punjab beat Jammu & Kashmir in a one-over eliminator after the match ended in a tie.

Opting to bat, Punjab, led by a late blitz from Gitansh Khera, posted 144 for 8 in their quota of overs. In reply, Parvez Rasool, who earlier picked up three wickets, scored a 39-ball 52, but that only helped J&K reach 144 before being bowled out, taking the game to the one-over eliminator, which Punjab won.

Earlier, Punjab’s top order had them well placed at 66 for 3 in the ninth over, till Rasool picked up two wickets in successive overs. Khera, the wicketkeeper, then took charge and put up 38 runs with Mayank Sidhana to resurrect the innings. He finished the innings with a 21-run stand in 1.2 overs for the last wicket to give Punjab a defendable total.

South Zone

At Vizianagaram, P Prasanth’s spectacular 3 for 11 from four overs, accompanied by Basil Thampi’s three-wicket haul in 3.2 overs, helped Kerala shoot Andhra out for a paltry 69 in 18.2 overs after asking them to bat. D Shivkumar (20) was the only Andhra batsman to enter double figures.

Kerala made an easy chase of it with a 63-run opening stand. Vishnu Vinod, the wicketkeeper, remained unbeaten on 31 as Kerala cruised to a nine-wicket win, finishing it off in just 9.3 overs.

Over at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad conceded a two-wicket win to Goa, who chased down the target on the back of two important late surges for the seventh and eighth wickets to go to the top of the table.

Kamat, who scored a vital 44-ball 56, held Goa’s innings together as wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end. Hyderabad would have believed they were on top in the 11th over when Goa were reduced to 56 for 6. But Harshad Gadekar (30 off 27) shared two key 44-run stands with Kamat and Amit Yadav to turn the match around. Yadav’s late blitz made all the difference as Goa reached home off the last ball, finishing at 151 for 8. He remained unbeaten on 38 off 15 balls, hitting five sixes along the way, in the 21 minutes he was at the crease.

Earlier, opting to bat, Hyderabad started strongly, with D Ravi Teja top scoring with 48 off 45 balls. After losing a few wickets in a hurry, Amol Shinde scored a 13-ball 28 to take them close to the 140-run mark. They eventually managed to post 149 for 7 in their 20 overs. Gadekar, Gauresh Gawas and Lakshay Garg picked up two wickets each.

In the other match at the same venue, Karnataka beat Tamil Nadu in a low scorer by 35 runs for their first win in the tournament, owing to a brilliant bowling display from Amit Verma, who returned figures of 4 for 2 in 3.1 overs.

Opting to field, Tamil Nadu did a brilliant job of restricting Karnataka as they managed to post only 122 for 7 in their 20 overs. In reply, Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 87 in 15.1 overs.

Karnataka were reduced to 43 for 4 before one of the two substantial partnerships were shared between Karun Nair and KL Rahul for the fifth wicket. They patiently added 39 runs in 40 balls before Verma (13 of 13) and K Gowtham (22 off 10) added 27 runs for the seventh wicket in 2.3 overs to take Karnataka to 122.

Tamil Nadu’s batsmen were never really in the chase as HS Sharath and Verma ran through their batting line-up with ease and were aided by a slew of run outs.

East Zone

At the Jadavpur University Complex in Kolkata, Jharkhand beat Assam by eight wickets, registering their second win in the competition.

Electing to bat, Assam posted a modest 127 for 8 in their 20 overs, with Sarfaraz Ashraf being involved in four dismissals. Jharkhand had an easy chase, reaching the target in the 17th over.

Ishan Kishan, the opener, got Jharkhand off to a solid start before he was bowled for 48 off 35 balls. Saurabh Tiwary, the captain, remained unbeaten on 36 off 21, sharing an unbeaten 55-run stand Virat Singh to take his team over the line.

Earlier, after Rishav Das, the opener, was dismissed in the second over, Assam had a few important partnerships. But with 30 being the highest of the innings, and wickets falling regularly, they weren’t getting to a hefty total. Parvez Aziz top scored with a run-a-ball 24.

Ashraf returned figures of 3 for 22 in four overs, and was also involved in running Dheeraj Jadhav out.

At Eden Gardens, Bengal prevailed by nine runs in a low-scoring game against Odisha, reaching the top of the East Zone table with their fourth consecutive win. After Bengal elected to bat, Odisha’s bowlers did a fine job of restricting them to 121 for 7 in their 20 overs. In reply, Bengal’s bowlers made sure Odisha fell short, finishing at 112 for 9.

Vivek Singh (38 off 27), the opener, went about attacking Odisha’s bowlers during his cameo at the top, despite Bengal losing early wickets. But, Odisha’s bowlers had not given up. Biplab Samantray and Jayanta Behera ran through the middle and lower orders, picking up two wickets each in the bargain.

After losing both openers in the span of four balls, Odisha’s fightback was led by Govinda Podder, who was the top scorer of the innings with 39 off 36. Bengal’s bowlers were clinical in curbing the batsmen, as only two other batsmen reached double figures. Pritam Chakraborty, Sanjib Sanyal, Aamir Gani and Arnab Nandi picked up two wickets each for Bengal.

Central Zone

At the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur, Ankit Lamba led Rajasthan to a three-wicket win against Vidarbha, leaving the latter winless in all the four games they have played.

Opting to bat, Vidarbha managed to post 157 for 7 in 20 overs after a half-century from Amol Ubarhande, but Lamba’s knock ensured Rajasthan chased the target down with five balls to spare, finishing at 159 for 7.

Lamba held his nerve and batted for 18.2 overs of Rajasthan’s innings for a brilliant 48-ball 85 – consisting seven fours and five sixes – at a time where no other batsman got going. The next-best score was Naresh Gehlot’s 19.

In the second match at the same venue, Uttar Pradesh kept up their winning streak, cruising to their third successive win after beating Railways by 63 runs.

Opting to bat, Uttar Pradesh posted 150 for 9 in their 20 overs with contributions from their entire top and middle order. Railways, in reply, were bowled out for 87 owing to a spirited bowling performance by UP’s bowlers.

Super League games in Rajkot and Mumbai

The Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will be played at Rajkot and Mumbai from April 8 to April 14. The first game in Rajkot will be between Haryana and Goa, while Delhi and Kerala battle it out in Mumbai. The final will be held on April 14 in Mumbai.

Brief Scores:

North Zone

Services: 144/6 in 20 overs (Yashpal Singh 39; Pawan Suyal 2-33, Varun Sood 2-26) lost to Delhi 145/5 in 18.2 overs (Milind Kumar 31; Sumit Singh 3-24) by five wickets.
Points: Delhi – 4, Services – 0. Full Scorecard

Himachal Pradesh 146/9 in 20 overs (Rishi Dhawan 65 n.o., Harshal Patel 3-35) lost to Haryana 148/3 in 19.2 overs (Guntashveer Singh 48, Sachin Rana 39 n.o.) by seven wickets.
Points: Himachal Pradesh – 0, Haryana – 4. Full Scorecard

Punjab 144/8 in 20 overs (Gitansh Khera 37 n.o.; Parvez Rasool 3-17) tied with Jammu & Kashmir 144 in 20 overs (Parvez Rasool 52; Sandeep Sharma 2-18).

Punjab won in one-over eliminator. Points: Punjab – 4, J&K – 0. Full Scorecard

South Zone

Andhra 69 in 18.2 overs (D Shivkumar 20; Basil Thampi 3-20, P Prasanth 3-11) lost to Kerala 73/1 in 9.3 overs (Vishnu Vinod 31, K Rakesh 29) by nine wickets. Points: Andhra – 0, Kerala – 4. Full Scorecard

Hyderabad 149/7 in 20 overs (Ravi Teja 48, Lakshya Garg 2-24) lost to Goa 151/8 in 20 overs (Sagun Kamat 50, Amit Yadav 38 n.o.; Ashish Reddy 2-22) by two wickets. Points:  Hyderabad – 0, Goa – 4. Full Scorecard

Karnataka 122/7 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 22; Sunil Sam 2-27) beat Tamil Nadu 87 in 15.1 overs (Baba Aparajith 19; Amit Verma 4-2) by 35 runs. Points: Karnataka – 4, Tamil Nadu – 0. Full Scorecard

East Zone

Assam 127/8 in 20 overs (Parvez Aziz 24; Sarfaraz Ashraf 3-22) lost to Jharkhand 128/2 in 16.2 overs (Ishan Kishan 48, Saurabh Tiwary 36 n.o.) by eight wickets. Points:   Jharkhand – 4, Assam – 0. Full Scorecard

Bengal 121/7 in 20 overs (Vivek Singh 38, Arnab Nandi 29 n.o.; Biplab Samantray 2-18, Jayanta Behera 2-23) beat Odisha 112/9 in 20 overs (Govind Podder 39; Sanjib Sanyal 2-14, Arnab Nandi 2-7) by nine runs. Points: Bengal – 4, Odisha – 0. Full Scorecard

Central Zone

Vidarbha 157/7 in 20 overs (Faiz Fazal 36, Amol Ubarhande 50; Pankaj Singh 3-29, Aniket Choudhary 3-22) lost to Rajasthan 159/7 in 19.1 overs (Ankit Lamba 89; Amol Jungade 2-43) by three wickets. Points: Vidarbha – 0, Rajasthan – 4. Full Scorecard

Uttar Pradesh 150/9 in 20 overs (Akshdeep Nath 28; Ashish Yadav 3-20) beat Railways 87 in 18.2 overs (Avinash Yadav 21 n.o.; Piyush Chawla 2-14) by 63 runs. Points: Uttar Pradesh – 4, Railways – 0. Full Scorecard