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Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Assam upsets Bengal, Punjab inch closer to knock-out berth

Assam pulled off an upset 13-run win over Bengal in an Elite Group B in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament on Saturday while Tamil Nadu won its fourth straight match to go top of the points table.

Bengal opted to field and saw the talented Riyan Parag (77, 54 balls, 5 fours, 5 sixes) help Assam put up a fighting 157 for 5 in 20 overs. The visiting team restricted Bengal to 144 for 8.

From a spot of bother at 22 for 2, Assam rode on skipper Parag’s breezy knock, which helped the team score 47 runs in the last 3.5 overs.

Parag took 18 runs from the 18th over bowled by Ishan Porel (2/34 from 4 overs) to give thrust to the Assam innings.

Chasing 158 for victory, Bengal looked on course before faltering towards the end as the Assam bowlers kept a check on the run flow.

From 130 for 3 in the 18th over, Bengal slid to 144 for 8 in 20 overs as Pritam Das (3/27) and skipper Parag (2/28) did the damage.

Bengal captain Anustup Majumdar (48, 47 balls, 4 fours) failed to take the team past the finish line as he saw batsmen at the other end fall in a heap.

In another match, skipper Dinesh Karthik (40 not out, 30 balls, 2X4, 2X6) and N Jagadeesan (78 not out, 51 balls, 4X4, 5X6) saw Tamil Nadu home against Hyderabad after a brief stutter in the middle of the innings.

Earlier, Hyderabad made 152 for 7 in 20 overs thanks to contributions from B Sandeep (41) and Pragnay Reddy (30) and late hitting by C V Milind (30, 11 balls, 3 sixes).

TN leads the group with 16 points after four consecutive wins followed by Bengal (12 from 4 matches). The two teams face off on January 18 with the top spot on the line.

As per the format of the tournament, the top ranked teams from each group (Five in Elite and 1 Plate) will qualify for the knockout stage along with the next two teams in Elite Groups A to E with the most points.

Baroda continue winning streak; thrash Maharashtra by 60 runs

Vadodara, Jan 16 (PTI) Baroda continued their winning run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy by claiming a 60-run victory over Maharashtra in an Elite ‘C’ Group game on Saturday.

This is Baroda’s fourth win on the trot in the league stage after having defeated Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in their first three outings.

Put in to bat, Baroda rode on stand-in skipper Kedar Devdhar’s stroke-filled unbeaten 99 off 71 balls to post a competitive 158 for four.

Right-arm medium pacer Atit Sheth (4/17) then wreaked havoc to scuttle out Maharashtra for a meagre 98 and give his team four full points.

Devdhar, who was handed the captaincy after regular skipper Krunal Pandya left the bubble following his father’s demise, took on a listless Maharashtra attack.

The right-handed opener hammered 11 fours and four sixes in the process and held together the innings despite losing partners at the other end.

One down Vishnu Solanki (28), however, could not convert his start while others Smit Patel (12), Ninad Rathwa (0) and Bhanu Pania (11) fell cheaply.

In reply, Maharashtra was reeling at 2 for 2 after losing openers Swapnil Gugale (0) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (1) early and their innings never got going.

Naushad Shaikh (32) and Kedar Jadhav (25) tried to take the game deep, but once the duo departed it was all over for the visitors as none of their other batters could even put up a fight.

Sheth, who grabbed four wickets and did bulk of the damage, was ably supported by slow-left arm bowler Ninad Rathwa (3/21) and left-arm pacer Lukman Meriwala (2/14), as they put up an impressive show.

Punjab inch closer to knock-out berth with fourth consecutive win

Alur, Jan 16 (PTI) Punjab inched closer to a knockout berth with a 10-wicket rout of Jammu and Kashmir in a Group A game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Saturday, their fourth win in a row.

Shubham Pundir top-scored with 42 to take J&K to 139 for eight in 20 overs.

Punjab made short of the target, cantering to victory in 14.3 overs with openers Simran Singh (59 not out off 42) and Abhishek Sharma (73 not out off 46) sharing an unbeaten 140-run stand.

Sharma smashed half a dozen sixes and his opening partner hit four of them.

Senior pacer Siddarth Kaul was the pick of the Punjab bowlers with four wicket for 33 runs in four overs.

In other Group A games, Karnataka defeated Railways for their third win in four games.

A struggling Uttar Pradesh recorded their first win of the tournament with nine-wicket victory over Tripura. Opener Karan Sharma top scored for UP with an unbeaten 68 off 36 balls. Suresh Raina too remained unbeaten with 36 off 23 balls.

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