Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Blessed Rajasthan sneaks through to semis

Rajasthan needed a lot of things to go its way for a semifinal entry, and they did.

Deepak Chahar scored 55 valuable runs for Rajasthan. File Photo: PTI

The fight for the final semifinal spot in Group A went down to the wire before Rajasthan prevailed by the slightest of margins on net run-rate.

First, Rajasthan defeated Delhi by two runs. Skipper Deepak Chahar led by example with an unbeaten 55, a knock that was mixed caution with aggression. The India bowler walked in at 50 for 5 when Rajasthan had lost four wickets for seven runs and rescued his side. His knock of 55 came off 42 balls but included seven huge sixes to help his side post 133 for 7.

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In reply, barring Rishabh Pant’s 30, the Delhi top and middle order failed and the team was reduced to 63 for 6 in 12th over. Lalit Yadav and Varun Sood chipped in with cameos to keep their side in the hunt. In the end, Rajasthan just about held its nerve, Aniket Choudhary and Khaleel Ahmed picking wickets at crucial stages to help their side’s cause.

Tied on points

In the match against Haryana and Maharashtra, the latter won by three runs which meant three teams — Baroda, Rajasthan and Maharashtra — were tied on eight points.

Maharashtra (-0.444) needed to restrict Haryana to less than 150 after making 165 for 7 batting first to get its net run-rate above Rajasthan (-0.254) but couldn't manage it and crashed out of the tournament.

Had Haryana won the match, Baroda would have qualified ahead of Rajasthan. Both teams would have been tied on eight points, but Baroda had beaten Rajasthan in their clash.

Rajasthan needed a lot of things to go its way and would need to send thank you cards to both Haryana and Maharasthra for doing just enough to facilitate their entry into the semifinals.