Stay calm and aim to reach the target -- this is quite a popular way of defining T20 cricket. And it looks like Sumit Kumar has taken the adage quite seriously as he played a calm and composed knock of 44 to help Haryana overcome a middle-order collapse and register a four-wicket win over Madhya Pradesh in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy fixture on Sunday.
With this come-from-behind win, the side also inched closer to cementing its spot in the knock-out stage.
Chasing a rather tricky target of 160, Haryana did not have an ideal start as it lost both its openers quite early in the innings. And things got worse as Ishwar Pandey and Parth Sahani troubled the Haryana batsmen, picking a couple of wickets each.
That led to Haryana struggling at 95-5. And that’s when Rohit Sharma -- who played a knock of 37 -- and Sumit Kumar forged a 47-run stand to steady the ship. Even after Sharma’s dismissal, Kumar took charge and with a couple of big shots, guided the team home, with seven balls to spare.
It, however, was quite a challenging task.
At a time when wickets tumbled at regular intervals, it was not easy to bat on, but Kumar crafted his innings with four boundaries and three sixes to ensure that there was fumbling in the end.
Earlier in the day, a three-wicket haul by Harshal Patel was not enough for Haryana as Madhya Pradesh rode on Rajat Patidar’s 69 to reach 159-6 -- quite a tricky target in T20s. Overcoming early jitters, Patidar steadied the ship and paved the way for his team’s total. India international, Yuzvendra Chahal, who is part of the Haryana team, bowled for a couple of overs, but went wicketless, giving away 14 runs.
Even though Madhya Pradesh did manage to create a panic in the Haryana dugout, in the end, it mattered little as Kumar ensured that the team had a good Sunday.
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