Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Kishan powers East Zone to a 6-wicket win

Ishan Kishan hit seven sixes during his 36-ball 67 which helped East make mincemeat of Central's 151 for seven.

Ishan Kishan's explosive half-century kick-started East Zone's Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 championship campaign.   -  PTI

Even at a tender age, Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan have emerged as explosive wicketkeeper-batsmen in domestic cricket. Thanks to his exploits with the willow, Pant recently earned the India cap. Kishan is not too far from earning one. He scored a 36-ball 67 against Central Zone to kick-off East Zone's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 championship campaign in style.

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The hallmark of his innings was his ability to clear the boundary with élan. The diminutive batsman from Jharkhand hit seven sixes during his innings which helped East make mincemeat of Central's 151 for seven. The Central contingent would regret the missed opportunity in the fourth over, when Apoorv Wankhade dropped Kishan's miscued pull off left-arm pacer Aniket Choudhary.

That wasn't the only mistake of the afternoon for Naman Ojha's team. After being put in to bat, Ojha was involved in a collision while attempting a second run in the opening over of the match, which resulted in his opening partner Mahipal Lomror being run out. Two balls hence, Ambati Rayudu's extravagant drive off Ashok Dinda resulted in an edge to Kishan. The Central innings never really recovered from the double blow. Even though Ojha held the innings together, neither he nor any other batsman could accelerate.

Defending a sub-par total, early wickets was a must for Central. But Kishan was given a reprieve and hesaw off impressive opening bursts from Choudhary and Ankit Rajpoot. Central spinners failed to contain the batsmen. Kishan swung his shoulders freely against experienced leggie Karn Sharma and the left-arm spin duo of Lomror and Mayank Dagar. Kishan's Jharkhand senior, Ishank Jaggi also continued his impressive season with an unbeaten fifty.

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