Assam’s stunning victory over Gujarat stood out among the three seven-wicket verdicts in the league encounters in Group ‘D’ of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 cricket tournament here on Friday.
In the other two matches, pre-match favourites Madhya Pradesh and Kerala brushed aside Railways and Bihar. Less than 24 hours after handing out a nine-wicket defeat to Kerala,
Gujarat batted by choice at the Ferozeshah Kotla but managed only 89.
Mukhtar Hussain (3/20) was the chief destroyer while Pritam Das, Rajjakuddin Ahmed and Riyan Parag took two wickets each. For Gujarat, after Priyank Panchal (0) and fellow opener Saurav Chauhan (1) fell within the first seven deliveries, Ripal Patel and Piyush Chawla contributed 21 each.
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In reply, Assam cruised to victory in the 14th over with Riyan Parag smashing thee sixes in his unbeaten seven-ball 20.
Madhya Pradesh wins
Earlier, in a match reduced to 16 overs following a delayed start owing to poor visibility, MP kept Railways on a tight leash.
For the second successive day, Avesh Khan took three wickets as Railways posted an inadequate 97/9 with Shubham Chaubey top-scoring with 24.
Venkatesh Iyer, following some eye-catching performances in the IPL, scored an unbeaten 41-ball 50 with three fours and two sixes to lead MP’s charge.
Uthappa shines as Kerala defeats Bihar
At the Air Force ground, Kerala owed its much-needed win to Basil Thampi, Robin Uthappa and Sanju Samson. Thampi took out the top three Bihar batters by the 13th over to ensure Kerala did not chase a big target.
Uthappa guided Kerala’s chase with a 34-ball 57 (5×4, 4×6) before a pulled hamstring forced him to retire.
Though opener Mohammad Azharuddeen (8), K. G. Rohith (1) and Sachin Baby (6) fell cheaply, Samson smashed an unbeaten 20-ball 45 (3×4, 4×6) to end Bihar’s resistance.
Railways 97/9 in 16 overs (Avesh Khan 3/23) lost to Madhya Pradesh 100/3 in 13.5 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 50 n.o.).
Bihar 131/5 in 20 overs (Mangal Mahrour 30, Sakibul Gani 53 n.o., Basil Thampi 3/19) lost to Kerala 132/3 in 14.1 overs (Robin Uthappa 57 retd. hurt, Sanju Samson 45 n.o.).
Gujarat 89 in 19.2 overs (Mukhtar Hussain 3/20) lost to Assam 90/3 in 13.1 overs.