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Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Baroda and Kerala scalp convincing wins

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Rajasthan raked a massive ten wicket-win © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

Mumbai: Apr 11, 2014 

Baroda and Kerala kept themselves in the hunt for a berth in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final by defeating Rajasthan and Bengal respectively in low-scoring Group B matches.Baroda chased the meagre total of 103 put up by Rajasthan successfully to win comprehensively by ten wickets at the Wankhede Stadium, for their third win on the trot.

Kerala defended their modest score of 101 for eight by bundling out Baroda for a pathetic 82 to win by 19 runs at the Sharad Pawar indoor academy ground in the Bandra-Kurla complex for their second win in three games.

Though Rajasthan lost to Baroda, they still have an outside chance to go through if Kerala defeat Baroda tomorrow and they get the better of Delhi, the fifth team in the group, as a triple-way tie on points would result in the net run-rate determining the group winners.

Going into the last day’s group phase, Baroda are top of the table with 12 points followed by Kerala and Rajasthan with 8 points apiece. Baroda, who just need to win tomorrow to qualify for the April 14 final here, lead in the net run-rate too with +1.405 followed by Kerala (+0.515) and Rajasthan (-0.219).

Left-arm medium pacer Manukrishnan led the spirited bowling performance with a brilliant haul of  four for six as Kerala outwit Bengal after being dismissed cheaply. Bengal were bundled out for 82 with 19 balls to spare.

Defending a small total, Basil Thampy provided the initial breakthrough for Kerala when opener Vivek Singh was caught behind by Sanju Samson in the first over.

Manukrishnan then got into the act by picking up a wicket in each of his four overs for splendid figures of 4-1-6-4, which left Bengal reeling at 46 for six in the 10th over.

Rakesh KJ and P Prasanth too contributed with two wickets each.

For Bengal, Avilin Ghosh and Pankaj Shaw, both of whom scored 27, were the only batsmen to register double digits. Ghosh’s knock comprised of four fours, while Shaw struck a four and two sixes.

Earlier, put in to bat Kerala batsmen struggled to pile up the runs as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Top-order batsman Rohan Prem held fort to steer his team past the three digit mark, scoring 51 in the process in 49 balls with three fours and two sixes. None of the other batsmen made an impact. Pritam Chakraborty and Saurashish Lahiri picked up two wickets each.

In the Baroda-Rajasthan game, Baroda held complete sway as they throttled their rivals with accurate seam bowling after asking Rajasthan to bat first on a bouncy track.

Barring Puneet Yadav’s 34 in 28 balls with help of 2 sixes and a four and his 36-run stand for the third wicket in 31 balls with Naresh Gehlot (11), the Rajasthan batting flopped.

Left-arm seam bowlers Rishi Arothe, who grabbed all his wickets in one over, and Lukman Meriwale bagged three wickets each while right arm Hardik Pandya got 2.

Baroda took their own time initially in the run chase with openers Kedar Devdhar (45 in 43 balls with 5 fours) and left-handed Aditya Waghmode, the team captain who remained unbeaten on 50 in 54 balls with five fours, beginning sedately.

After scoring only 27 runs in the first six overs of power play, the duo took the total to 59 without loss after 10. They accelerated the scoring before Devdhar struck Gehlot to the point fence for the winning runs.
Tomorrow, Rajasthan take on Delhi in their final group game at the BKC ground.

Brief scores:

Kerala 101 for 8 (Rohan Prem 51; Pritam Chakraborty 2 for 9, Saurashish Lahiri 2 for 11) beat Bengal 82 (Avilin Ghosh 27; Pankaj Shaw 27; Manukrishnan 4 for 6, Rakesh KJ 2 for 14, P Prasanth 2 for 18) by 19 runs

Rajasthan 103  in 19.3 overs (Puneet Yadav 34; R Arothe 3 for 29, L Meriwala 3 for 12, Hardik Pandya 2 for 15) lost to Baroda 105 for no loss in 16.1 overs (K Devdhar 45, A Waghmode 50)

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