Yusuf Pathan (right) was in impressive form against Saurashtra © Getty Images (File Photo)
Yusuf Pathan (right) was in impressive form against Saurashtra © Getty Images (File Photo)

 

Apr 3, 2014

 

Baroda have qualified for the Super League stage of the Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 (T20) tournament with a convincing 26-run win over Saurashtra in their third match of the West Zone qualifiers. Baroda are unbeaten in this tournament so far. With three losses, Saurashtra are out of contention from qualifying. Chasing 143, Saurashtra were bowled out for 116.

 

Saurashtra got off to a shaky start with Munaf Patel removing Cheteshwar Pujara leg-before for eight. Even Sheldon Jakson couldn’t manage much dismissed by Munaf. Similar to their match against Mumbai on Wednesday, Saurashtra batsmen failed to stay in control of the chase and the frequent fall of wickets only made the chase more difficult. It was skipper Jaydev Shah who anchored the chase but was eventually dismissed attempting a suicidal run-out. He was out for 23. Saurashtra kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never looked in control to chase down the target.

 

Baroda’s victory was set up by a 28-ball 54 from captain, Yusuf Pathan. He hammered four sixes and three fours in his innings. At 50 for two in 10 overs, Baroda clearly needed someone to accelerate. After scripting a victory over Gujarat with his all-round performance, Hardik Pandya failed to fire. That brought the explosive Yusuf to the crease. After dealing in quick singles and twos, he went after left-arm spinner Aarpit Vasavda clobbering him for two sixes and two boundaries. Though Baroda lost a few wickets towards the end, Yusuf remained unbeaten and steered the innings. Brother Irfan though couldn’t make a notable contribution as he was bowled for a golden duck.

 

The race for the second spot from West Zone is between Mumbai, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Mumbai, at present are with eight points while the other two have four each.