Eklavya Dwivedi’s unbeaten 49 (off 35 balls) and Amit Mishra's 19-run cameo towards closing stages of the game helped Uttar Pradesh (UP) win a last-over thriller against Delhi and storm into the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here on Monday.
Given that Gujarat had a net run-rate (NRR) of 1.18 (thanks to an easy win against Jharkhand), UP had to win its third and final game in order to get ahead of the former. UP’s all-round performance ensured not only their spot in the final but also stretched their winning streak to eight matches in the competition.
Seamer Mishra was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 25. Mishra dismissed the Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir early on and it was Unmukt Chand (48 off 35 balls) and Pawan Negi (41 off 23 balls) who propelled Delhi to 158.
That tally seemed just enough after Navdeep Saini and Parvinder Awana removed openers Prashant Gupta and Samarth Singh in the space of six deliveries. Suresh Raina made a fluent 22 (off 18 balls) before he was dismissed by left-arm spinner Manan Sharma, with his team struggling at 44 for four.
Dwivedi then batted sensibly, aided by a cameo from Praveen Kumar (18 off 13 balls). But when Kumar fell in the 18th over, UP were still 35 away. That's when Mishra singled out Subodh Bhati in the 19th. A dot ball was followed by four byes. Mishra also produced two crisp cover drives and a six over long-on before taking a single off the last ball to bring the equation down to 10 off the last over.
In the last over bowled by left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, Mishra collected three runs off the first two balls before Dwivedi smashed a six over long-on to equal the scores. Another single off the fourth ball sealed the deal for UP.
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