Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Delhi, Mumbai in Semis

Rajat BhatiaMumbai: Delhi and Mumbai secured win over their respective opponents to make it to the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Delhi beat Railways while Mumbai defeated Tamil Nadu.

In the first quarter finals of the day, Delhi after being put on to bat by the Railways clinched a thriller as they won by one run.

Coming onto bat, Delhi had a very sloppy start and at a point were reduced to 43 for four wickets. It was then the skipper Rajat Bhatia who took control over the affairs and scored the first century of the tournament. His unbeaten 107 runs innings of 60 balls included six boundaries and eight huge sixes.

He also put up a crucial 73 runs partnership for fifth wicket with Puneet Mehra and then after Mehra’s departure stayed on till the end and helped Delhi post a dominating 180 for loss of 6 wickets.

Railways began on a cautious note and looked to hang on, but Delhi bowlers had other plans as they reduced them to 91 forsix wickets at one stage. It was then Karan Sharma who hit 67 of 35 balls steadied the Railways ship and kept them in the hunt.

The match came down to a point where Railways require three runs to win the match and with Sharma on strike at the penultimate ball match, it looked certain that Railways would pull up an upset victory. But as luck would have it, he was caught by Pradeep Sangwan off Mithun Manhas. It still did not look reachable for Railways, but Avinash Yadav was run out on the last ball of the match while attempting a second run, which if completed would have taken the match into a super over.

In the second quarterfinal of the day, Mumbai led from the front by Wasim Jaffer (51) and Abhishek Nayar (79) beat Tamil Nadu by 31 runs. Jaffer and Nayar added 86 for the second wicket helping their side to post a challenging 193-9.

TN began started off well with openers S Anirudha and Abhinav Mukund putting up a 62 runs partnership. But after this partnership TN had nothing much to offer and

Mumbai bowlers were on top throughout the match.  Dhawal Kulkarni picked up three wickets and Iqbal Abdulla, Javed Khan and Ankeet Chavan bagged two each. Suresh Kumar's 49 was the only respectable figure on TN’s batting card.

Brief scores:

Delhi 180 for 6 in 20 overs (R Bhatia 107 no; A Singh 2/41)
Railways 179 for 9 in 20 overs (K Sharma 67; R Bhatia 2/28)

Mumbai 193 for 9 in 20 overs(W Jaffer 51, A Nayar 79; L Balaji 3/33, S Kumar 2-34)
Tamil Nadu 162 all out in 18.5 overs (A Srikkanth 32, A Mukund 34, Suresh Kumar 49; D Kulkarni 3/24, J Khan 2/39, A Chavan 2/35)