Record-setters Karnataka begin title defence with thumping win
SYED MUSHTAQ ALI TROPHY 2019-20
Shreyas Gopal picked two wickets in Karnataka’s win. © BCCI
Karnataka made a convincing start to their title defence with a nine-wicket rout win over Uttarakhand in Visakhapatnam. Rising star Devdutt Padikkal and Rohan Kadam slammed unbeaten half-centuries as the defending champions chased down 132 inside 16 overs. The win took Karnataka’s winning streak in T20s to 15. It is a record for the most consecutive wins by an Indian team in T20 cricket. Only the Sialkot Stallions (25 wins on the bounce between 2006-10) have enjoyed a longer streak in T20 cricket. Despite the KPL-induced unrest in Karnataka record, the recently-crowned Vijay Hazare Trophy winners will be among the favourites to add another silverware to their trophy cabinet.
Lad takes five, Mumbai make short-work of Mizoram
Domestic stalwarts Mumbai were hurt by rain in Bangalore in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, enduring as many as five “No Results”. But back home at the Wankhede Stadium for the group stages of the T20 tournament, their fortunes flipped amidst all the washouts around them. They made short work of Mizoram with Siddhesh Lad taking a remarkable 5 for 13 to bowl Mizoram out for 77. Jay Bista then smashed an unbeaten 24-ball 54 as Mumbai registered a 10-wicket win with almost 12 overs to spare.
Ambati Rayudu and Akshath Reddy played crucial knocks which offset a lower-order wobble to help Hyderabad post 149, a total that Punjab fell agonisingly short of on the VJD system. Shubman Gill scored 48 but received little support from the other end. When Mandeep Singh was dismissed off the last ball of the 14th over, Punjab were two runs behind the VJD-revised target at the moment and had to concede defeat.
Vidarbha, TN open with comfortable wins
Tamil Nadu, finalists in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy, produced a sparkling batting display in their Group B encounter against home-team Kerala, posting 174 in 20 overs after being asked to bat. In-form batsman Baba Aparajith scored 35 off 26 before retiring hurt while Dinesh Karthik added a steady 33 from 31. The highlight of their innings was the finishing with Vijay Shankar and Shahrukh Khan setting the flourish for M Mohammed to apply the finishing touches with a blistering 11-ball 33. T Natarajan and G Periyaswamy claimed three wickets apiece to cripple Kerala’s chase and give TN a 37-run win.
In the other Group B encounter in Trivandrum, Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha made a fast start to their T20 campaign, chasing down Tripura’s 102 with 7.3 overs to spare. Captain Faiz Fazal scored a 40-ball 54 and shared a 99-run stand with Akshay Kolhar.
Washouts and curtailed encounters
Rain in the western part of the country meant Group D and E games in Mumbai and Surat were either washed-out or truncated. Puducherry-Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand-Odisha, Bengal-Assam, Sikkim-J&K, Haryana-Meghalaya and one of the round’s marquee fixtures Delhi-Gujarat were washed out.
The Arunachal Pradesh – Chhattisgarh Group C encounter in Chandigarh too was affected but the officials were able to squeeze in a six-overs-a-side contest. Shashank Chandraker’s 17-ball 32 helped Chhattisgarh chase down a target of 47 with seven balls to spare.