Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Chopra guides Himachal Pradesh to win over Haryana

Himachal Pradesh needed a controlled effort from Pankaj Jaiswal with the ball in the Super Over to garner full points in the first North Zone match in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy here on Monday against a fighting Haryana. Prashant Chopra smacked a four to easily overhaul the two-run target.

Prashant Chopra plays a shot during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 match in New Delhi on Monday.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Himachal Pradesh needed a controlled effort from Pankaj Jaiswal with the ball in the Super Over to garner full points in the first North Zone match in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy here on Monday against a fighting Haryana. Prashant Chopra smacked a four to easily overhaul the two-run target.

It didn’t look like going to the wire, though, after opener Chopra carried his bat through, falling one short of becoming the first centurion of the tournament this season. But his unbeaten 99 in 64 balls and third-wicket partnership with veteran Paras Dogra saw Himachal cruise to 194 for just two wickets after being put in to bat.

It was an innings built around Chopra's cautious aggression that had not a single six or unnecessary risk in a format designed for big hits.

Chopra — who became the first Ranji Trophy triple-centurion from the state and also its top-scorer this season — cut and drove his way ahead with 11 fours, most of them grounded and racing to the boundary more by virtue of their placement than any brute force. At the other end Dogra proved the perfect foil after Ankush Bains fell for a 15-ball 31.

Reports: South Zone, North Zone, West Zone, East Zone

Haryana, in turn, promoted medium-pacer Harshal Patel as the opener and the former Gujarat player justified with an imperious 32-ball 73.

It was an innings in contrast to that of Chopra, the ball flying in all directions before Kunwar Abhinay sent him packing. His dismissal saw the run rate dip and, barring Rahul Tewatia, no other batsman came close to settling down. At 172 for eight with two overs to go, it looked like a disciplined Himachal bowling would seal the matter easily but Abhinay, making his T20 debut, conceded 13 runs in the penultimate over, enough to tie scores. Jaiswal, expensive till then, got two in two in the eliminator to set his team up for a win.

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The other match played on the day was a contrasting affair. Jammu & Kashmir was no match for the Services side and, barring a 47-run knock by Ian Chauhan, there was little of note in the side that decided to bat first but folded up for 128 in the face of some tight bowling from the spin-pace combo of Services. In reply, Ravi Chauhan's unbeaten 86 saw the team cantering to an easy nine-wicket victory for full points and a share of the top spot.

Brief scores: Himachal 194-2 in 20 overs (Prashant Chopra 99 not out, Paras Dogra 47 not out, Ankush Bains 31) bt Haryana 194 for eight in 20 overs (Harshal Patel 73, Rahul Tewatia 42; Kunwar Abhinay 2-38) in Super Over.

Super over score: Haryana 2 for 2 in 0.3 overs (Pankaj Jaiswal 2-2). Himachal 6 for no loss in 0.3 overs (Prashant Chopra 6).

Points: Himachal 4, Haryana 0.

J&K 128 in 20 overs (Ian Chauhan 47; Diwesh Pathania three for 28, Avishek Kumar Sinha two for 31, Arun Bamal two for 19) lost to Services 130 for one in 16.5 overs (Ravi Chauhan 86 not out, Nakul Verma 36) by nine wickets.

Points: Services 4; J&K 0.