Kerala overcame a batting collapse to sneak a seven-wicket win against Haryana and maintain its unbeaten run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament here on Friday. P. A. Abdul Bazith’s unbeaten 27 (15b, 3x4. 1x6) helped Kerala reach its modest target of 132.
Bazith, in his first season for Kerala, came in at 90 for six, with Kerala needing another 42. After Sijomon Joseph fell for 13, Bazith found an able ally in Manu Krishnan. The two added 26 for the unfinished eighth wicket to take their side home with an over to spare.
Openers Vishnu Vinod (25, 26b, 2x4, 1x6) and Rohan Kunnummal (26, 18b, 5x4) had given Kerala another fine start, adding 52 before Jayant Yadav bowled the latter. In the next over, Amit Mishra took the most valuable wicket of Sanju Samson, who joined the team only the previous day after the ODI series against South Africa. The skipper could make only three.
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In the following over, Rahul Tewatia trapped Vishnu lbw. The quality spin-attack of Haryana had Kerala in a spot of bother. The crisis deepened when the in-form Mohammed Azharuddeen was run out for 13, but Haryana’s hopes were dashed by Bazith, who had earlier in the day taken a wicket off the first ball of the match with his off-spin.
The highlight of the Haryana innings (131 for seven) was the 62-run stand for the seventh wicket between Sumit Kumar (30 not out, 23b, 3x6) and Jayant (39, 25b, 5x4, 1x6).
Karnataka beats Meghalaya
In another Group C match, Karnataka crushed Meghalaya by nine wickets with 9.5 overs to spare. After losing Devdutt Padikkal for a duck in the opening over, captain Mayank Agarwal (47 not out, 29b, 4x4, 3x6) and Manish Pandey (42 not out, 28b, 5x4, 2x6) added 90 for the unbroken second wicket to eclipse Meghalaya’s 89 for eight.
Seamer Vyshak Vijaykumar took three for five from four overs, while Larry Sangma (34, 25b, 2x4, 2x6) top-scored for Meghalaya.