Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 Group D: Kerala joins Gujarat in knockouts

When it really mattered, things went Kerala’s way as it came up with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Madhya Pradesh to qualify for the pre-quarterfinals.

File picture of Sanju Samson.   -  Shreedutta Chidananda

When it really mattered, things went Kerala’s way as it came up with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Madhya Pradesh to qualify for the pre-quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here on Tuesday.

Before Kerala took the field at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground, Gujarat (16 points) posted a five-wicket victory over Bihar to not only qualify for the quarterfinal but also avoid a three-way tie at the top. This went to help Kerala's cause.

Since there is no role of net run rate in case of a two-way tie, it came down to a win-and-qualify situation for MP and Kerala. As it turned out, the one-sided result tied the teams at 12 points but
Kerala advanced because this head-to-head result against MP was considered to break the tie.

Put in, MP posted a challenging 171/5 with Rajat Patidar top-scoring with 77 (49b, 7x4, 3x6) before being out to the last ball of the innings. He was well supported by opener Kuldeep Gehi (31) and then Parth Sahani (32).

In response, Kerala cruised to an emphatic win after riding on an unbroken 110-run stand between Sanju Samson (56 n.o. 33b, 4x4, 3x6) and Sachin Baby (51 n.o. 27b, 4x4, 3x6).

The other two matches, too, were one-sided.

Gujarat restricted Bihar to 118/6 and then finished the job, thanks to the unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 60 runs between Het Patel (45) and Piyush Chawla (27).

In a match that had no bearing on the qualifying race to the knockout phase, Railways (8) cruised to a 48-run victory over Assam (8).

Summarised scores

Elite D (New Delhi): Bihar 118/6 in 20 overs (Mangal Mahrour 64 n.o. Tejas Patel 3/27) lost to Gujarat 121/5 in 19.1 overs (Urvil Patel 33, Het Patel 45 n.o.). 

Railways 165/6 in 20 overs (Mrunal Devdhar 51, Mukhtar Hussain 3/26) bt Assam 117/6 in 20 overs (Denish Das 35). 

Madhya Pradesh 171/5 in 20 overs (Kuldeep Gehi 31, Rajat Patidar 77, Parth Sahani 32) lost to Kerala 172/2 in 18 overs (Sachin Baby 51 n.o., Sanju Samson 56 n.o.).

Final standings: Gujarat 5-4-1-16 (+1.109), Kerala 5-3-2-12 (+0.363), MP 5-3-2-12 (+1.147), Assam 5-2-3-8 (-0.533), Railways 5-2-3-8 (-0.654), Bihar 5-1-4-4 (-1.370). Kerala finished runner-up as it had defeated MP.

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