As expected, Punjab and Delhi posted comprehensive final-round victories to occupy the two qualifying spots from Group B for the knockout phase of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament in Jaipur on Saturday.
Punjab crushed Uttar Pradesh’s hopes of qualifying by delivering a nine-wicket blow and served Delhi’s cause. A little later, Delhi matched Punjab’s tally of 24 points by scoring a six-wicket victory over Tripura. This meant, Punjab and Delhi finished in that order, based on their net run-rate.
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In the two inconsequential matches, Hyderabad registered a 10-wicket win over Manipur and Goa kept Pondicherry without a point in the league by racing away to a six-wicket win.
Eventually, Punjab, Delhi (24 points each were followed by UP, Hyderabad, Goa (16 each), Tripura (12) and Pondicherry (0).
Punjab has been directly seeded into the quarterfinals on November 1, while Delhi will have to play one of the three pre-quarterfinals scheduled on October 10, in Kolkata.
After UP elected to bat, only Rinku Singh (79, 47b, 7x4, 4x4) made Punjab bowlers work hard before being dismissed hit-wicket. Baltej Singh took three for 26. Punjab had no trouble in chasing down UP’s 147 for seven, following an unfinished 143-run second wicket stand between Prabhsimran Singh( 80 not out, 49b, 12x4, 3x6) and Shubman Gill (57 not out, 44b, 5x4. 2x6).
Delhi restricted Tripura to 134 and then won with six wickets and 17 deliveries to spare. Skipper Nitish Rana (61, 31b, 4x4, 5x6) and Yash Dhull (33, 27b, 5x4) scored 70 for the third wicket and put Delhi firmly on the victory path.
Manipur’s 117 was never going to be challenging for Hyderabad. Openers Rahul Buddhi (72 not out, 51b, 9x4, 2x6) and Alankrit Agarwal (44 not out, 36b, 4x6) needed 14.3 overs to finish the job.
In the day’s last match to finish, Goa ensured that Pondicherry ended its campaign without a point.
Put in, Pondicherry was shot out for 88 in 18 overs, with Amit Yadav taking four for 14. Akash Kargave was the top-scorer with 35 (41b, 3x4).
In reply, Goa was well served by opener Ishaan Gadekar (45, 24b, 6x4, 2x6) before Tunish Sawkar (23 not out, 23b, 1x4, 1x6) ensured the team crossed the finish-line in the 13th over.