Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Pankaj, Dogra help Pondicherry stun Hyderabad

Chasing 160 runs to win, Hyderabad chocked in the final over to hand Pondicherry a memorable win in the latter's maiden outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Paras Dogra hit a match-winning 48-ball 89. (File Photo)   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The experience of medium pacer Pankaj Singh proved handy in making Pondicherry’s maiden outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy a truly memorable one against Hyderabad at the Air Force Complex ground II on Wednesday.

Chasing 160 to win, Hyderabad needed eight runs off the last over with opener Akshath Reddy still at the crease.

Pankaj, former Rajasthan new-ball bowler, produced a match-winning final over as he gave just four runs and picked two wickets to help Pondicherry register a stunning three-run win.

The run-out of C. V. Milind and a leg-before verdict against Mohammad Siraj left Akshath Reddy stranded at the non-striker’s end with a defiant 69 not out (51b, 1*6, 5*4). Off the final delivery, last-man Mehdi Hasan could only manage a single.

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If Hyderabad slipped from 152 for six to the eventual 156 for nine in the space of the last seven deliveries, debutant medium pacer Thamaraikannan (4/39) also had much to do with it, besides the manner in which Pondicherry players held its nerves.

In the penultimate over, Thamaraikannan traded eight runs for the wickets of K. Sumanth and Akash Bhandari to keep Pondicherry alive. Thereafter, Pankaj scripted a memorable finish.

Earlier, Pondicherry owed it to former Himachal Pradesh batsman Paras Dogra’s stroke-filled 48-ball 89 as it posted a competitive total of 159 for the loss of six wickets. Dogra's knock was studded with six sixes and seven boundaries.

In reply, Hyderabad raced away to 63 without loss in six overs. The dismissals of Rohit Rayudu and Ambati Rayudu in the space of eight runs reduced Hyderabad to 95 for three in the 11th over but the team looked well on course.

Thereafter, the team relied too much on Akshath and the steady Pondicherry bowlers kept getting wickets and eventually pulled off a stunner by leaving Akshath and Hyderabad exasperated.

Brief scores:

Cricket Association of Pondicherry 159 for six in 20 overs (P. K. Dogra 89, D. Rohit 27, Mehdi Hasan two for 29, Mohammad Siraj two for 43) beats Hyderabad 156 for nine in 20 overs (Akshath Reddy 69 not out, Tanmay Agarwal 31, B. Sandeep 21, P. Thamaraikannan four for 39, Fabid Ahmed two for 23) by three runs.

Points: Pondicherry 4; Hyderabad 0

Tripura 100 in 19 overs (Sen Choudhary 21, Mura Singh 18, A. Sheth five for 13, Swapnil Singh two for eight, Bhargav Bhatt two for 17) lost to Baroda 101 for two in 16.5 overs (Vishnu Solanki 32, Kedar Devdhar 24, Yusuf Pathan 19 not out, Deepak Hooda 18 not out, T. S. Saha two for 29) by eight wickets.

Points: Baroda 4; Sikkim 0

Services 164 for five in 20 overs (Rajat Paliwal 54 not out, Nakul Verma 48, Rahul Gahlaut 27, Vikas Hatwala 18) lost to Uttarakhand 165 for seven in 19.5 overs (Karanveer Kaushal 58, Raturi 49, Rajat Bhatia 20, V. U. Yadav five for nine) by three wickets.

Points: Uttarakhand 4; Services 0

Maharashtra 149 for five in 20 overs (N. S. Shaikh 41, N. S. Naik 41, R. D. Gaikwad 35, Boby Yadav two for 34) beats Uttar Pradesh 137 in 19.3 overs (Samarth Singh 93, S. S. Bacchav three for 23, M. Ingale two for 18, D. M. Hinganekar two for 24, S. M. Fallah two for 28) by 12 runs.

Points: Maharashtra 4; Uttar Pradesh 0