Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Taruwar Kohli's 76 in vain as Mizoram falls short against Pondicherry

Taruwar Kohli made an unbeaten 76 in Mizoram's run chase but a lack of support from other batsmen ultimately resulted in a 31-run defeat to Pondicherry.

Mizoram fell short of Pondicherry's 155 by 31 runs. (representative image)   -  REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

Taruwar Kohli played an unbeaten knock of 76, but that wasn’t enough for Mizoram as it went down to Pondicherry by 31 runs in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy fixture at the Bandra Kurla Complex on Monday.

Put in to bat, Pondicherry rode on a fine 42-run innings by Anand Subramaniam to reach 155-7 in 20 overs. Chasing a rather big total, it was important for Mizoram to get off to a solid start, but that did not happen, as it lost two wickets for 24.

However, a seasoned campaigner in domestic cricket, Kohli put up a fight -- stitching partnerships with captain K.B. Pawan -- but his efforts were not enough as the inexperienced side could only reach 124-4 in 20 overs.

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Coming into the game with two consecutive defeats -- against Mumbai and Bengal -- Mizoram players did put Pondicherry under pressure early in the innings by dismissing opener K.B. Arun Karthik for one, but it slowly lost the grip of the game as Subramanian and Damodaran stitched a 73-run stand for the second wicket.

At a time when it looked like a cakewalk for Pondicherry, Sumit Lama scalped three quick wickets to put the pressure back on the opponent. From being at 101-2, Pondicherry was suddenly reeling at 121-6. But then, seasoned campaigner R. Vinay Kumar came up with an unbeaten knock of 27 to steady the ship.

Chasing 150-plus score was not an easy task but Mizoram -- which managed to put up 77 and 79 runs respectively in its first two games -- did try to improve its show. But in the end, there was no change in the script for the struggling team.

Brief scores: Pondicherry 155-7 in 20 overs (Anand Subramanian 42, Rohit Damodaran 39; Sumit Lama 3-25) beat Mizoram 124-4 in 20 overs (Taruwar Kohli not out 76, KB Pawan 26; Ashith Rajiv Sanganakal 1-25)