Venkatesh Iyer began his quest of regaining his lost spot in India’s limited overs side with a sterling all-round show to help Madhya Pradesh start its Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign with a comfortable win against Railways in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Riding on Venkatesh’s unbeaten 62 (31b, 5x4, 4x6), Madhya Pradesh added more than a hundred runs to put on a respectable 173 for five while batting first under lights at the Saurashtra Cricket Association main stadium. He carried on the momentum with the ball, returning with a magical spell of 6/20 off his four overs to ensure Rajasthan folded up for 135.
While Venkatesh was severe on Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s pace bowling, tonking 20 runs off the eight balls he faced from his former IPL teammate, he picked three wickets in the penultimate over the match to ensure MP opened its account in style.
The defending Ranji Trophy champion outfit will hope to carry on the momentum on Wednesday against Mumbai in a repeat of the Ranji final in June.
Mumbai rolls over Mizoram
Mumbai warmed up for the big game with a convincing win against Mizoram. Playing at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ‘C’ Ground in a morning match, Ajinkya Rahane’s Mumbai rolled over minnow from the north-east by nine wickets.
After a well-round bowling pack, led by veteran Dhawal Kulkarni, which had restricted Mizoram to a mediocre 98 for eight, Prithvi Shaw struck an unbeaten 55 (34b, 9x4, 1x6) to see Mumbai home in the 11th over.
With Rahane falling cheaply, Aman Khan (39*, 22b, 5x4, 2x6) , the burly allrounder, made the most of his promotion during an unbroken partnership of 91 runs off just 52 balls to see Mumbai home.
Vidarbha, Uttarakhand win
In the other two games in Group A, Uttarakhand’s professionals trio of Jiwanjot Singh, Aditya Tare and Swapnil Singh helped it overhaul a target of 151 against Railways, while Vidarbha also chased down Assam’s 161 for five with relative ease.