Chasers' day: Gujarat, UP post easy wins

Defending champion Gujarat made a mockery of Delhi’s 170 for five before Uttar Pradesh eased past Jharkhand in the Super League (Group ‘B’) of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Unmukt Chand became only the third Indian to notch up three T20 centuries, but his 103-run effort (58b, 8x4, 5x6) was rendered useless by some authoritative cricket from Gujarat, who won the game with eight wickets in hand and 16 deliveries to spare.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Defending champion Gujarat made a mockery of Delhi’s 170 for five before Uttar Pradesh eased past Jharkhand in the Super League (Group ‘B’) of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Delhi’s Unmukt Chand became only the third Indian to notch up three T20 centuries, but his 103-run effort (58b, 8x4, 5x6) was rendered useless by some authoritative cricket from Gujarat, who won the game with eight wickets in hand and 16 deliveries to spare.

As is his wont, Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel (42, 28b, 5x4, 2x6) went berserk in the ‘Power Play’ to give his side the ideal start. His dismissal, in the ninth over, made no difference to Gujarat, who continued to score at a brisk pace thanks to the other opener, Priyank Panchal. The right-hander smashed an unbeaten 69 (45b, 8x4, 1x6) as Gujarat made merry. Manpreet Juneja (38, 22b, 5x4) and Rujul Bhatt (19 n.o., 11b, 3x4) also came to the party as Gujarat maintained the psychological edge over Delhi by building on last month’s brilliant win in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final.

Chand deserves credit for rescuing Delhi at five for two in the second over, but it was just that kind of a day for Gujarat. The 22-year-old, who attended the prestigious St. Stephen’s College, was circumspect to begin with. Perhaps, the fall of his skipper, Gautam Gambhir, for nought prompted him to take that route. Gambhir was dismissed caught behind off RP Singh.

>Gujarat v Delhi: Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chand got to his fifty off 35 balls, but his journey from 51 to 100 took a mere 20 deliveries. He got there with a boundary, but his consecutive sweeps off the bowling of left-arm spinner Hardik Patel, regaled those sitting in the clubhouse.

Poor show

Delhi’s bowlers had an ordinary day. Four of the six bowlers employed by Gambhir went for over nine and over. Subodh Bhati was the worst of the lot. He conceded 44 runs in 3.4 overs.

The second game, which began at 1 pm, saw Uttar Pradesh openers Prashant Gupta (42 n.o. 41b, 3x4, 2x6) and Samarth Singh (64, 49b, 4x4, 4x6) add 112 runs. Their efforts left skipper Suresh Raina (20 n.o. 11b, 3x4) with little to do as Uttar Pradesh won at a canter.

>Jharkhand v UP: Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jharkhand was largely unimpressive with both bat and ball. Shasheem Rathour made a composed 40 (43b, 4x4, 1x6) and Saurabh Tiwary cracked 38 off 28 balls, inclusive of two fours and two straight sixes, as Jharkhand posted an underwhelming 133 for seven. Seamer Amit Mishra picked up two wickets for 14. Raina got a wicket off the first ball when Tiwary stepped out in pursuit of another maximum.

Scores:

Delhi 170 for five in 20 overs (Unmukt Chand 103) lost to Gujarat 171 for two in 17.4 overs (Parthiv Patel 42, Priyank Panchal 62 n.o., Manpreet Juneja 38)

Points: Delhi 0 (-1.179), Gujarat 4 (+1.179)

Scores: Jharkhand 133 for seven in 20 overs (Shasheem Rathour 42, Saurabh Tiwary 38; Amit Mishra two for 14) lost to Uttar Pradesh 134 for one in 16.5 overs (Prashant Gupta 42 n.o., Samarth Singh 64)

Points: Jharkhand 0 (-1.310), Uttar Pradesh 4 (+1.310)