Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Mahipal Lomror's 37-ball 78 guides Rajasthan to semis

Bihar failed to chase the 165-run target set by Rajasthan, and eventually fell short of the semifinal berth by 16 runs on Wednesday night.

The Rajasthan Royals left-hander was prepared to wage a lone battle and hit five boundaries and five towering sixes en route an unbeaten 78 against Bihar.   -  TWITTER

Bihar put up a fight, but that wasn't enough to upset the formidable Rajasthan in the last quarterfinal of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament. The favourite won by 16 runs at the Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad, on Wednesday night.

It was a superb 78 not off just 37 balls (5x4, 5x6) by Mahipal Lomror that set up Rajasthan's victory. A target of 165 proved too much for the Bihar men.

Mangal Mahrour's unbeaten 68 (58b, 4x4, 2x6) helped them stay in the hunt, but his strike-rate wasn't enough against a strong Rajasthan attack, even without the Chahar cousins, Deepak and Rahul.

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Thirty six runs were needed in the final two overs, but Khaleel Ahmed gave away only nine in the 19th, virtually sealing his team's semifinal berth.

Earlier, it was very much a Lomror show. After an opening wicket stand of 59 between Bharat Sharma (38, 33b, 4x4, 2x6) and Ankit Lamba (38, 41b, 2x4, 1x6), the Rajasthan innings had stuttered against some tight bowling.

Lomror had come in at the fall of the first wicket -- Bharat cleaned up beautifully by Bihar's captain and left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman -- and saw the other batsmen struggle.

None of the batsmen barring the openers and Lomror went past six, but that didn't matter in the end.

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The Rajasthan Royals left-hander was prepared to wage a lone battle. He pressed on the accelerator at the right time. Just 61 had come off the first 10 overs, but 103 were taken off the last 10, as Lomror unleashed some massive hits, often coming down the track to the spinners. Aman had given 11 from his three overs, but in the final over of the innings, he went for for 20.

The skipper's bowling figures were destroyed and, as it would turn out, his team's dreams too, by Lomror.

Brief score: Rajastan 164/5 in 20 overs (Lomror 78*, Kashyap 2/28) beat Bihar 148/4 in 20 overs (Mahrour 68*, Choudhary 1/25)

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