Wicketkeeper-batsman Upendra Yadav proved to be the thorn in Tamil Nadu’s flesh as he guided Uttar Pradesh to an exciting five-wicket win in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Kariyavattom Sports Hub on Monday.
Chasing a target of 169, Uttar Pradesh romped home in the Group B encounter as Yadav plundered at will through the last three overs, forcing Tamil Nadu to its first loss in three matches in the tournament. In fact, he was in smashing form all day.
Yadav had effected two stumpings and taken a great catch in the Tamil Nadu innings, after the side was put in. The early innings was built upon fine half-centuries crafted by Murali Vijay and Dinesh Karthik before Tamil Nadu lost its way towards the end.
The start of the side too was quite bad as opener N. Jagadeesan perished after contributing only two runs in a first wicket stand dominated by Vijay who did make his intentions right from the word go.
The best phase of the Tamil Nadu innings came when Vijay and Karthik were engaged in a 75-run partnership for the second wicket.
However, after the fall of Karthik (who top scored with 61), in the second ball of the 17th over, the others who followed were unable to use the platform for the good of their side.
The only exception being Washington Sundar (who after having figured in India’s triumph against Bangladesh in Nagpur on Sunday and travelling overnight to reach at 7.30 in the morning today) with his contribution of 28 off 14 deliveries.
Uttar Pradesh kept itself on par denying the rival bowlers as initially Akashnath Deep and Samarth Audhendra Singh and Yadav and Shubham Chaubey flourished without any trouble and reached the home stretch requiring 33 runs of the last three overs for a win.
UP by then had only lost three wickets and thereby was in an advantageous position.
Yadav utilised the opportunity well as he took 16 in the 18th over bowled by a wayward Natarajan Thangarasu, putting UP on the top.
However, Periyasamy Ganesan came up with a tight penultimate over, conceding just two runs and pushing the encounter to an exciting finish.
Natarajan, however, was unable to stand up to the pressure in the final over as Yadav helped himself to three towering sixes and a two to take UP to its first win in two matches, with a ball to spare.
Meanwhile, Vidarbha beat Manipur by 70 runs for a third straight win to top the Group B with 12 points from three games.
Brief scores: Vidarbha 150 for 6 in 20 overs (Jitesh Sharma 73 not out, Rushabh Rathod 25) beat Manipur 80 for 9 in 20 overs (Sagatpam Singh 36, Yash Thakur 4/5, DG Nalkande 2/15)
Vidarbha: 4 points, Manipur: 0
Tamil Nadu 168 for 7 in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 61, Murali Vijay 51, Vijay Shankar 28, Moshin Khan 2/13, Ankit Rajpoor 2/35, Kuldeep Yadav 2/37) lost to Uttar Pradesh 174 for 5 in 19.5 overs (Upendra Singh Yadav 70 not out, Shubham Sanjay Chaubey 35, Akshdeep Nath 25, G Periyaswamy 2/35)
UP: 4 points, TN: 0
Kerala 191 for 7 in 20 overs (Sachin Baby 58, Rohan Kunnummal 30, M B Mura Singh 2/42, Ajay Sarkar 2/52) beat Tripura 177 for 8 in 20 overs (Milind Kumar 54, Udiyan Bose 27, Mura Singh 27, Jalaj Saxena 4/26). Kerala: 4 points, Tripura: 0