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UPT20: Meerut Mavericks blaze to victory, Swastik Chikara and Rituraj Sharma forge match-winning partnership against Kashi Rudras

Rituraj SharmaKanpur: The Meerut Mavericks registered a comprehensive7-wicket victory in the ongoing Jio UPT20 against the Kashi Rudras at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur. The dominant run chase was piloted by the insatiable Swastik Chikara (66) and Rituraj Sharma (63) who combined to add a 133-run partnership. Earlier in the day, Kashi’s Shivam Bansal (69) played a stellar knock which was eventually deemed redundant by Meerut. The victory means Meerut Mavericks have secured 10 points in their seven games.

Invited to bat first, the Kashi Rudras had a good powerplay. Despite the loss of Shiva Singh (6), Captain Karan Sharma (20) and Shivam Bansal (69) guided the Kashi Rudras to 53/1 in six overs. The 62-run alliance between Karan Sharma and Shivam Bansal was broken in the ninth over by Vishal Chaudhary. However, Shivam Bansal was in scintillating form, his innings was a combination of deft touches and clean sixes, bringing up his half century in 32 balls. Soon after, the 13th over saw the dismissal of Bansal at the hands of Yash Garg, with the score reading 108/3. Prince Yadav went onto add 25 runs before he too was sent back to the pavilion by Yash Garg in the 16th over. While Kashi Rudras had set up a platform for a big score, the Meerut Mavericks bowling was exemplary in the death overs. Frugal spells from Vaibhav Chaudhary and Kartik Tyagi, who also castled Parv Singh (8) restricted the Meerut Mavericks to a final score of 155/5. Ankur Malik (20*) remained unbeaten but was unable to provide the late fireworks. Yash Garg was yet again the pick of the Meerut bowling unit with figures of 2/32.

In the second innings, the Meerut Mavericks responded fiercely, a wicketless powerplay saw them accumulate 48 runs, including a 16-run over of Shiva Singh orchestrated by opener Ruturaj Sharma (63). Following the powerplay, Swastik Chikara (66) took M.Sharim for three fours and a six, stamping his authority as the orange cap holder. Chikara brought up yet another half century in 36 deliveries as the Meerut Mavericks were cruising to their target at 91/0 in 10 overs. In tandem with his fellow opener, Rituraj Sharma also struck a 34-ball half century. The colossal 133-run partnership which was also the highest of the tournament so far was severed in the 15th over as Deependra Yadav scalped both the well settled batsmen. With the Meerut Mavericks needing 16 runs in 5 overs, Divyansh Joshi (14*), Rinku Singh (7) and Uvaish Ahmed (1) all chipped in to get the team home in 16.4 overs with 7 wickets in hand. Deependra Yadav (3/17) finished as the sole wicket taker for Kashi Rudras.