Rishabh Pant    AFP (file photo)
Rishabh Pant AFP (file photo)

Rishabh Pant cracked a fourth successive fifty-plus score to lead Delhi’s eight-wicket rout of Tamil Nadu while Baroda, Mumbai and Punjab also secured wins in their respective Super League matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, here today.

Veterans Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh dug deep into their reservoir of experience as star-studded Punjab held their nerves to pip Karnataka via eliminator in a group A match at the Jadavpur University second campus ground.

In the second group A match, Virat Singh’s sterling 81 off 49 balls (3x6s, 6x4s) went in vain as Jharkhand faltered while chasing 171 to pave the way for Mumbai’s 13-run win.

In the group B fixtures at Eden Gardens, Pant made mockery of the 146-run chase as his 33-ball 58 (7x4s, 3x6s) saw Delhi cruise home with 5.4 overs to spare.

Pant, who hit his sixth T20 half-century, later limped off the ground after sustaining an ankle injury but coach KP Bhaskar said it was minor in nature and he would be available for their match against Baroda tomorrow.

Opener Gautam Gambhir, the two-time IPL winning Kolkata Knight Riders skipper who was released this season, made a run-a-ball 21 (2x4s, 1×6) and along with Pant put on 43 runs off 33 balls for the opening wicket.

Put in, Tamil Nadu scored 145 for seven with captain Vijay Shankar leading from the front with a 57 not out off 48 balls (4x4s, 3x6s) and along with Baba Aparajith (45 off 32, 7x4s) put together 92 runs to rescue Tamil Nadu from 37 for 3 in 5.1 overs.

However, it was a heartbreak for home side Bengal, who choked under pressure as Baroda secured a 19-run win under floodlights at the Eden.

In reply to Baroda’s 149 for nine, Shreevats Goswami (58 off 43 balls; 6x4s) kept Bengal in the hunt before his run out in the 17th over derailed their chase.

Left-arm pacer Lukman Meriwala (3/26) ripped the Bengal’s top-order before Krunal Pandya’s 3 for 14 helped Baroda bundle out Bengal for 132 in 19.5 overs.

Earlier at the JU ground, the scores were tied while chasing 159, and Punjab scored 15 runs in the one-over eliminator with Yuvraj hitting a boundary and Mandeep Singh smacking K Gowtham for a six.

In reply, Karnataka managed just 11 runs with Siddarth Kaul keeping his cool while bowling the super over for Punjab.

Yuvraj was at his vintage best while fielding at square leg region and took two stunning catches to help dismiss Stuart Binny (2) and C M Gautam (36) in one over.

Yuvraj leaked 17 runs while bowling with Gautam (36 off 31 balls) hitting him for two sixes and one boundary in the 13th over.

But the out-of-favour India southpaw made it up for his bowling profligacy when he ran to deep square leg to take a one-handed diving catch. He also took another catch diving forward.

Earlier, chasing a modest 159 after opting to bowl, Punjab were in control with opener Mandeep Singh laying the foundation with a 29-ball 45 (7x4s, 1×6).

Promoting himself at No 3, Harbhajan struck 33 from 19 balls (5x4s, 1×6) while Yuvraj’s 29 off 25 balls had five boundaries including a regal cover drive. This was after the Punjab skipper bowled another economical spell, finishing with 1 for 21 in 4 overs.

But Sreenath Aravind (4/32) swung the match in Karnataka’s favour with successive wickets in the 16th over.

Yuvraj edged one to the keeper while in the next ball Abhishek Gupta was also dismissed, edging one to Gautam, as Punjab required 31 off 26 balls.

Sharad Lumba (20 off 17 balls) kept them in the hunt as 14 runs were needed off the last two overs.

But a boundary off the penultimate ball followed by a two by Sandeep Sharma tied the scores to take the match into the Super Over.

Brief Scores:

Tamil Nadu: 145 for 7 in 20 overs (Vijay Shankar 57 not out, Baba Aparajith 45, Kulwant Khejroliya 4/26) lost to Delhi 146 for 2 in 15.2 overs (Rishabh Pant 58, Nitish Rana 34 not out, Dhruv Shorey 28 out; Washington Sundar 2/32) by eight wickets.