Syed Mushtaq Ali: Maharashtra enters final, Bengal knocked out

Maharashtra defeated Jharkhand by 14 runs to book a place in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

The Rahul Tripathi-led Maharashtra side has entered the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. (File Photo)   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Maharashtra – with three wins in as many matches - has secured a place in the final of the Inter-State Twenty20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament.

On Monday, the winner of the tournament ten years ago, Maharashtra beat Jharkhand by 14 runs  to take its points tally to twelve. 

Maharashtra plays Railways in its fourth and last Group `A’ Super League match at the Holkar Stadium on Tuesday.

Bengal is the second team in Group `A’ that has a chance to record three wins, but with a negative outcome against Maharashtra in the Super League, its chances of advancing to the final has been ruled out, even in the event of Maharashtra losing to Railways.

The tournament guidelines say that in the event of teams finishing equal on wins and points, the right to play in the final will be determined by the outcome of the match between the two teams.

READ: As it happened: Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 2019, Super League

The rules further say that if the "head to head result" cannot be applied and that the highest net run rate (NRR) will determine the team that would progress to the final.

The NRR could come into play in Group 'B', in the event that Karnataka, Vidarbha and Mumbai are tied on wins and points after the last round of league matches.

Maharashtra has to thank left hander Divyang Hinganekar for putting it in an unassailable position. He hammered an unbeaten 17-ball 35 to bring a stunning victory for his side against Gujarat on Sunday evening. 

Then taking the field  within 12 hours of notching the astonishing win against Gujarat, the Rahul Tripathi led Maharashtra posted a tournament high score of 153 against Jharkhand at the Emerland Heights International School ground, with Vijay Zol (50, 43b, 7 x 4s) and Ankit Bawne (64 not out, 46b, 3 x 4s, 4 x 6s) raising 86 for the fourth wicket.

Then the State’s experienced left hand seamer Samad Fallah and left hand spinner Satyajeet Bachhav dashed Jharkhand’s hopes taking five wickets.

The tournament has been far from spectacular so far. A handful have plied their trade with the white ball exceptionally well, but the batsmen have not been able to get the better off the bowlers in a big way and hence team totals have been far from impressive in the first 16 matches played. The highest is Maharashtra’s 153 against Jharkhand.

The most successful seamer in action has been Karnataka’s Vasuki Koushik, who has impressive figures of four for 19 against Delhi, three for 22 against Uttar Pradesh and one for 17 against Mumbai.

Mumbai’s Deshpande was once again in form against Vidarbha at the Holkar Stadium on Monday. He dismissed openers Atharva Taide and Jitesh Sharma and then removed Umesh Yadv who threw his wrists at everything and scored a 12-ball 26 with three boundaries and two sixes. 

Deshpande came into Mumbai’s third league match with a spell of four for 19 against Delhi. As a result of Deshpande’s fine display with the ball and Jay Bista’s strokeful unbeaten half century, Vidarbha lost to Mumbai.

Brief scores:

Group A: Railways 110 for 9 in 20 overs (Harsh Tyagi 32 not out, Piyush Chawla three for 12)  lost to Gujarat 112 for 3 in 14.1 overs (Parthiv Patel 25, Piyush Tanwar 55 not out, Axar Patel 20 not out)

Maharashtra 153 for 4 in 20 overs (Vijay Zol 50, Ankit Bawne 64 not out, Varun Aaron two for 22) beats Jharkhand 139 for 8 in 20 overs (Bikash Singh 46 not out,Samad Fallah two for 41, Satyajeet Bachhav three for 17)

Group B: Vidarbha 137 for 8 in 20 overs (Umesh Yadav 26, Rushabh Rathod 26, Tushar Deshpande three for 37, Shardul Thakur two for 21) lost to Mumbai 138 for 4 in 15.4 overs (Jay Bista 73 not out, Shreyas Iyer 28, Suryakumar Yadav 25, Ravi Jangid two for 23)

Uttar Pradesh 140 for 6 in 20 overs (Priyam Garg 30, Shubham Chaubey 29, Navdeep Saini two for 23, Pawan Negi three for nine) lost to Delhi 142 for 6 in 19.4 overs (Dhruv Shorey 62 not out, Pranshu Vijayran 34, Ankit Rajpoot two for 20, Yash Dayal two for 20).