Half centuries from Gujarat openers Priyank Panchal and debutant Saurav Chauhan slammed the door on Kerala with a nine-wicket drubbing in its Group D league encounter of Syed Mushtaq Ali (20-over) cricket tournament at the Air Force ground here on Wednesday.

Put in, Kerala could manage only 123/5 in spite of Sanju Samson’s unbeaten 43-ball 56 (3x4, 2x6). The Gujarat openers put on 113 by the 14th over before Panchal fell for a 46-ball 66, studded with eight boundaries and two sixes. Chauhan went on to complete his 50 (40
balls, 3x4, 2x6) and took Gujarat to a thumping victory with 27 deliveries to spare.

Two other matches, scheduled at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground, produced contrasting results.

Madhya Pradesh chose to field and restricted Assam to 103 for nine before crossing the finish line with six wickets and six wickets to spare.

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For Assam, only Abhishek Tiwari could offer some resistance with a 41-ball 35 (3x4). Avesh Khan, fresh from the confidence gained from the recent IPL, made his presence felt with three wickets.

MP openers Venkatesh Iyer, who smashed eight boundaries in his 23-ball 37, and Kuldeep Gehi (34, 26b, 4x4, 2x6) raised 65 runs to set a firm foundation. For Assam, left-arm spinner Roshan Alam delayed the inevitable by taking three wickets.

Unlike Gujarat and MP on this day, Railways failed to chase down a target. Against a resolute Bihar, Railways lost its way early and crashed to a 35-run loss.

Asked to bat, Bihar set a target of 170 after opener Bipin Saurabh’s 54-ball 72 (10x4, 1x6) and one-drop Babul Kumar’s 36 (27b, 3x4, 1x6). While chasing Railways went off track by the 11th over after losing six wickets for 67 runs. Abhijit Saket took out three frontline batters before fellow medium pacer Hrishi Raj also scalped three.

If Railways managed to reach 134, it was only because of a fighting 61 from opener Pratham Singh who was ninth out in the 18th over.