Mushtaq Ali Trophy: MP cruise to their third win

MP Bowlers paved the road to victory by curbing Railways to 103 (all out). Medium pacer Ashwin Das (four for 10) was difficult to deal with on a lively Reliance stadium wicket. And, Ishwar Pandey chipped in with two wickets.

Ishwar Pandey unsettled the Railways batsman with bounce and movement.   -  V. Ganesan

Moving up a level with each game, Madhya Pradesh (MP) stormed to their third win of the tournament in a Group C game on Thursday. MP Bowlers paved the road to victory by curbing Railways to 103 (all out). Medium pacer Ashwin Das (four for 10) was difficult to deal with on a lively Reliance stadium wicket. And, Ishwar Pandey chipped in with two wickets.

Chasing Railways’ modest target, opener Zafar Ali set the platform for his team’s win with a 24-ball 36. MP had four wickets and almost the same number of overs to spare when they reached the target. They will be taking on the home team Baroda in their next encounter, which is significant for both the teams with the league stage nearing its end.

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At the toss, skipper Naman Ojha called right and Pandey unsetted batsmen with bounce and movement. Das, meanwhile, tried to hustle the opposition with pace.

Ojha was happy with his team’s performance in the tournament so far. He, however, felt that his batsmen need to contribute more. “Our bowling is outstanding. I feel every top order batsman, including me should chip in with more runs. I cannot ask for more from my players, each one knows his role and response to match situation is good.”

“The Reliance wicket is bowler-friendly and our attack is capable of troubling any side,” said Ojha.

Railways lost their in-form batsman, Saurabh Waskaskar when his batting partner Faiz Ahmed’s shot hit the non-striker’s stumps after kissing MP bowler Venkatesh Iyer’s fingers.

Baroda, scheduled to play leaders Delhi in the concluding game, were not stretched by Goa (zero points) at the Motibaug ground, wrapping up victory number three.