Syed Mushtaq Ali: Rajasthan beat Karnataka; Punjab, Delhi, UP lose

Kolkata: Medium-pacer Deepak Chahar took five wickets as Rajasthan beat Karnataka on an otherwise day of reversals where Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh suffered their first defeats in the Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 cricket tournament here on Tuesday.

Jharkhand and Bengal registered their first wins after two defeats beating Punjab and Delhi respectively while Tamil Nadu scored over Uttar Pradesh who also lost for the first time.

In Group A, Rajasthan are top of the table with eight points from two matches followed by Punjab who faced the biggest upset losing to Jharkhand at the Eden Gardens under lights.

Karnataka, without a win after two games, are at the bottom of the group. Mumbai (four points) are third followed by Jharkhand (four points) after three games.

In Group B, Delhi are in pole position with eight points from three outings while Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Tamil Nadu and Bengal are all on four points. The top two teams of each groups will play the final.

Coming to the games, out-of-favour India batsman Suresh Raina’s 41-ball 61 went in vain as UP lost by five wickets to Tamil Nadu while Yuvraj Singh (17 off 33 balls) failed to get going in Punjab’s 149/7 in 20 overs at the Eden Gardens.

For Delhi at the Jadavpur University campus ground, Dhruv Shorey (84 off 46 balls) racked up his second fifty on the trot but Bengal’s Sayan Ghosh (3/24) was on the money getting his and Lalit Yadav’s (45 off 29 balls) wickets in the same over to turn the tide in Bengal’s favour and help them win by three runs.

Meanwhile in Group B, for Tamil Nadu, Washington Sundar’s all-round effort and Sanjay Yadav’s 32-ball 52 helped the Southern outfit register a five-wicket win over UP at the Eden Gardens.

Sundar, who made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka recently, returned figures of 2/32 including the wicket of Raina and scored 33 important runs to guide his team to victory.

The evening tie at the Eden then saw the Harbhajan Singh-led Punjab lose to Jharkhand by four wickets in a dramatic game. Batting first, Mandeep Singh (48) top-scored for Punjab as Yuvraj flopped with the bat. Wicketkeeper Abhishek Gupta was 31 not out as they posted 149/7.

In reply, big-hitting keeper-batsman Ishan Kishan (54 off 29) gave Jharkhand a good start but wickets kept falling around him to never put the team MS Dhoni mentored in a commanding position.

Harbhajan (1/21) was economical while Barinder Sran (2/19) bowled well too but Saurabh Tiwary (24 off 22) used his experience to keep going with Vikash (4 not out) hitting the winning runs in the final over.

The day though belonged to Chahar whose career-best figures of 5/15 helped his team down a batting-heavy Karnataka by 22 runs.

In the Group A clash, Karnataka were skittled out for 138 in 20 overs after Rajasthan posted 160/8 being put in to bat first.

For Karnataka, only Aniruddha Joshi (73 not out) and K. Gowtham (13) could manage double-digit scores in a disappointing run chase.

Batting first, Rajasthan’s Aditya Garhwal (31) and Ankit Lamba (58) gave their side a good start.

Lamba also added 67 runs for the second wicket with Salman Khan (20), but Rajasthan didn’t find too many contributors after that as Karnataka skipper R.Vinay Kumar (2/29) and Sreenath Aravind (3/25) picked up the wickets to put a lid on their rivals’ run flow.

The Rajasthan bowlers showed their intent from the very beginning as Lamba got rid of Karun Nair off the fifth ball of the opening over.

Chahar then accounted for R. Samarth and the promoted Abhimanyu Mithun off the fourth and fifth deliveries of his second over.

Chahar, who played a vital role in Rajasthan winning their opener against Jharkhand with an all-round effort on Monday, was on a hat-trick once again in his third over as he removed C.M. Gautam and Stuart Binny off the first two deliveries, only to miss out again, but by then, Karnataka were reduced to 24/5 inside Powerplay.

Joshi defied the odds and kept Karnataka in the game with a scorching 45-ball 73 with three sixes and eight fours, but none of the other batsmen rose to the occasion.

“I am happy with my performance today. This was crucial before IPL auction,” Chahar told reporters after the game.

Brief Scores:

Rajasthan 160/8 (Ankit Lamba 58, Aditya Garhwal 31; Sreenath Aravind 3/25, Vinay Kumar 2/29) beat Karnataka 138 (Aniruddha Joshi 73 not out; Deepak Chahar 5/15, Chandrapal Singh 2/31) by 22 runs.

Bengal 170/6 (Sudip Chatterjee 51, Vivek Singh 32, Manoj Tiwary 25; Pradeep Sangwan 2/27, Kulwant Khejroliya 2/25) beat Delhi 167/8 (Dhruv Shorey 84, Lalit Yadav 45; Kanishk Seth 3/25, Sayan Ghosh 3/24).

Punjab 149/7 (Mandeep Singh 48; Kaushal Singh 3/26) against Jharkhand 150/6 (Ishan Kishan 54; Barinder Sran 2/19).

Uttar Pradesh: 162/4 (Suresh Raina 61; Washington Sundar 2/32) against Tamil Nadu 163/5 ( Sanjay Yadav 52, Washington Sundar 33; Mohsin Khan 2/20 )