Mumbai: An all-round performance by Irfan Pathan helped Baroda defeat Punjab by 8 runs to win the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The match being played at the Brabourne Stadium saw Baroda winning the toss and batting first. They lost their first wicket at a score of five runs in the first over of their innings.
The new ball bowlers from Punjab, VRV Singh and Manpreet Gony delivered initial blows to the opponent and at with the help of the slow left arm spin of Bipul Sharma restricted the Baroda batsmen. At the half-way stage of their innings Baroda were reeling at a score around 50 having already lost their four top-order batsmen.
Baroda needed a good late finish that is exactly what they got from their late order batsmen. Pathan brother along with Pinal Shah scored some crucial runs and took Baroda to a respectable total of 149 runs.
Punjab would have fancied their chances as they needed to score at a rate of 7.45 runs, which is considered below-par in T-20 cricket. But, the way they started their innings ensured that it is not going to be easy for the boys from Punjab as they lost two wickets before getting to double figures.
Mandeep Singh and Bipul Sharma took hold of the proceedings as both the batsmen scored crucial 40’s for their team. But, Baroda never looked troubled as they picked up wickets at regular intervals and some tight spells from Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan ensured that there was no coming back for the Punjab team.
The team from Punjab played their allotted quota of 20 overs but fell short by 8 runs in the end as they could only manage 141 runs.
Baroda: 149/6 in 20 overs (Pinal Shah 39, I Pathan 36*, Bipul Sharma 2-15)
Punjab: 141/8 in 20 overs (Bipul Sharma 41, Mandeep Singh 40, M Patel 2-21)