Rahul does the trick

Leg-spinner takes hat-trick as Punjab beat UP; face Gujarat in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 final

Written by Express News Service | Indore | Published:March 31, 2013 1:35 am

Rahul Sharma picked up a hat-trick for Punjab while Manprit Juneja smashed an unbeaten for Punjab and Gujarat respectively,as the sides went on to top their groups and make the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali domestic T20 tournament.

Sent in to bat,Punjab rode on Gurkeerat Singh’s unbeaten 93 off 8 balls coming in at one-drop to post a healthy 161/5 in their allotted 20 overs against UP. During the chase,leg-spinner Sharma’s triple strikes,coming in the 15th over of the chase,rendered an already stunted chase pointless. Rahul Sharma returned with figures of four for 34 while Sandeep Sharma (2/6),Amitoze Singh (2/25) and Rajwinder Singh (2/36) shared six wickets between them to bowl out UP for 110 in 16.4 overs.

Rahul Sharma’s strikes came off the third,fourth and fifth balls of the 15th over,when he sent back Piyush Chawla,Umang Sharma and Amit Mishra to reduce UP to 98/8. Chawla was the lone hope that stage,with almost two runs required of each delivery. Chawla was the first to go and was the second highest scorer for his side,with 29. When Mishra was out,caught like the two before him,Rahul Sharma had made his hat-trick. UP never recovered,falling 51 runs short.

Kerala’s run ends

In another game,Manprit Juneja smashed an unbeaten 108 as Gujarat thrashed Kerala by 90 runs to finish atop Group A and make the final. Juneja produced a sensational exhibition of strokeplay as he struck 16 fours and three sixes in his 50-ball knock to help Gujarat score 233/3 after they were put into bat. Chasing the huge target,Kerala were bundled out for 143 in 19.1 overs.

Kerala captain Sachin Baby must have rued his decision to put the opposition in though it seemed that his gamble would pay dividends as Gujarat were struggling at one for three in the fifth over. But Juneja and Abdulahad Malik (84 not out) turned the match on its head with an unbroken partnership of 202 runs from 15.4 overs for the fourth wicket. The target of 23 was always going to be too much for Kerala,though it was they that came into the game in form.

Malik was no less aggressive than Juneja as his unbeaten 84 came from just 46 balls with the help of nine fours and three sixes. Kerala lost early wickets but were still in the match till the 11th over when they were 97/3. But the dismissal of their captain Sachin Baby (14) in that over triggered a batting collapse and they were all out for 143 in 19.1 overs. For Gujarat,pacer Mehul Patel and off-spinner Jesal Karia took three wickets each while Jasprit Bumrah and Rohit Dahiya chipped in with a wicket each.

Brief scores

Group A

Delhi 156 for seven in 20 overs (Mohit Sharma 45,Milind Kumar not out 39; A Jungade 3/27,R Jangid 1/16) lost to Vidarbha 157 for five in 19 overs (Faiz Fazal 50,Urvesh Patel 34; Manan Sharma 3/32)

Gujarat 233 for three in 20 overs (M Juneja not out 108,A Malik not out 84; Sandeep Warrier 1/29) beat Kerala 143 in 19.1 overs (V Jagadeesh 36,S Samson 32; Jesal Karia 3/15,Mehul Patel 3/36)

Group B

Punjab 161 for five (Gurkeerat Singh not out 93; A Rajpoot 2/22,Amit Mishra 1/20) bt Uttar Pradesh 110 all out in 16.4 overs (M Kaif 46,P Chawla 29; Rahul Sharma 4/34,Sandeep Sharma 2/6)

Karnataka 167 in 20 overs (R Uthappa 49,M Pandey 29; Krunal Pandya 3/25) lost to Baroda 169 for five in 19.5 overs (J Chaiyya 63,V Solanki not out 54; S Binny 2/25,S Akshay 2/39)

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