Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Kohli 81 in vain as MP beats Mizoram

Mizoram had a 92-run opening stand — courtesy Taruwar Kohli and Lalhma Varlung Ngaiha — but could not keep up to the mounting required rate.

With four straight defeats, Mizoram clearly has no hopes of making it to the knockouts, while Madhya Pradesh still has a lot to play for.   -  REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

 

The Bandra Kurla Complex is turning out to be a happy hunting ground for Taruwar Kohli. Following his unbeaten knock of 76 against Puducherry the other day, Kohli dished out another gritty innings of 81 against Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday.

But in the end, that was not enough as Mizoram went down by 86 runs, to suffer its fourth defeat on the trot.

After Madhya Pradesh put up a mammoth 213-5 — with Rishabh Chouhan playing a knock of 63 and Ashutosh Sharma chipping in with 58 — it was important for Mizoram to get off to a fiery start.

However, openers Kohli and Lalhma Varlung Ngaiha played it slow and safe, to make sure that there was no early jitters. While that approach saw Mizoram putting up a 92-run opening partnership, the match slowly slipped out of its hands, with the required run-rate sky-rocketing.

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The 30-year-old Kohli, who did not have quite a memorable outing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, has had a fairly successful campaign in the T20 tournament so far. Against a rather well-settled Madhya Pradesh bowling unit, Kohli looked at ease and delivered a flawless show before being bowled out by Ishwar Pandey. But then, the team would have ideally wanted him to play a bit more aggressively, in a bid to inch closer to its first victory.

Earlier in the innings, Mizoram did manage to remove Madhya Pradesh captain Naman Ojha for a duck in the first ball of the day. But an inexperienced bowling attack failed to take advantage of the situation and allowed Sharma and Rajat Patidar to forge a 59-run stand for the second wicket.

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That set the tone for Madhya Pradesh. Even after Patidar’s exit, Sharma and Chouhan ensured that there was no slip-up. As the two flexed muscles in the middle, a young Mizoram bowling unit slowly cocooned, failing to bounce back.

With four straight defeats, Mizoram clearly has no hopes of making it to the knockouts, while Madhya Pradesh still has a lot to play for.

Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 213-5 (Rishabh Chouhan 63, Ashutosh Sharma 58; Lalbiakvela Laldothanga Guite 2-31) beat Mizoram 127-2 (Taruwar Kohli 81, Lalhma Varlung Ngaiha 22; Ishwar Pandey -28, Ankit Sharma 1-21)