Mumbai: An unbeaten 56 balls 66 by Ambati Rayudu helped Baroda pick up a last over victory and knock the defending champions Bengal out of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament played here at the Bandra Kurla Complex on Sunday.
Bengal who had a strong batting line up even though they missed the services of their senior pro Ganguly flattered to deceive as they could pile up only a paltry 111 on the board. Bengal who won the recently concluded Vijay Hazare trophy looked scattered after being sent into bat and could not adjust to the pitch.
A lot was expected out of the Manoj Tiwary and Laxmi Ratan Shukla but even they could not do much justice to their ability and fizzled out on a pitch which assisting the bowlers. Tiwary scored 19 where Shukla emerged as the top scorer with 27 runs.
For Baroda pick of the bowlers were M Vahora and K Panchal who picked up two wickets apiece by giving away 18 and 23 runs respectively.
Defending a low target is never an easy thing to in a T20 match, but Bengal started off well with their bowling and made Baroda earn every run. Bengal bowling was looking lethal and soon reduced their opponents to 26-3. It was then Ambati Rayudu, who came into the scene and shifted onto damage control mode. He played cautiously initially and took 11 deliveries to get off the mark. But once he settled down he started unleashing his plethora of shots and made sure that Baroda was on the road to the semis. His 56 balls knock of 66 contained nine fours and two sixes.
Mohd. Sami picked up three wickets for Bengal giving away 14 runs.
Baroda would now face off against Delhi in the first semi final on Monday.
In the other quarter final, bowling duo of VRV Singh and Manpreet Gony ripped apart Madhya Pradesh’s batting line up to help Punjab win the match by seven wickets. VRV picked up four wickets for 24 runs while Gony returned with figures of three for five runs.
Punjab chasing a target of 120 never looked that daunting and Gurkeerat Singh who scored 57 of 49 balls ensured that they chase the target comfortably.
Punjab will now square off agaisnt Mumbai in the second semi-final, on Monday.
By Indian Sports News Network