Irfan Pathan puts all-round show

Vadodra : Skipper Irfan Pathan led from the front with an unbeaten 49 and two wickets to help Baroda maintain an unbeaten run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy so far after thrashing a hapless Goa by 72 runs in the Group C Twenty20 cricket match here on Wednesday. Put into bat at the Moti Bagh Stadium, Baroda, who registered their third consecutive win, posted a respectable 154 for two in 20 overs and then packed Goa for a paltry 82 runs in 15.4 overs to bag four points. The Baroda top-order made it count with Irfan’s 29-ball blitz, which was laced by three fours and three sixes, standing out as opener Kedar Devdhar (39) and Hardik Pandya (38 not out) also made useful contributions. The third-wicket unbeaten 83-run partnership between Irfan and Pandya is what made the Goa bowling eat humble pie. Left-arm spinner Darshan Misal bagged the only two wickets to fall in the innings.

Chasing the challenging score, Deepraj Gaonkar (48) stood amidst the Goa ruins as the rest of the batting fell like a pack of cards. Reagan Pinto (11) was the only other batsman to manage double figures. Pace spearhead Irfan, left-armer Rishi Arothe and medium-pacer Pandya bagged two wickets apiece. Meanwhile, Skipper Parthiv Patel hit a quickfire 52 off 32 balls while speedster Jasprit Bumrah scalped three wickets as Gujarat comfortably beat Bengal by eight wickets in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Group A encounter on Wednesday. Batting first, Bengal batting flopped for the second time in four matches with entire side being bundled out for 101 in 19.2 overs. Debabrata Das and skipper Ashok Dinda contributed 22 each as none of the other batsmen could cross personal score of 20. Bumrah grabbed 3/16 in 4 overs while another medium pacer Rohit Dahiya also chipped in with three wickets for 14 runs. In reply, Gujarat skipper blasted the Bengal attack hitting 9 boundaries and a six to finish as Vijay hazare Trophy champions won by 11.5 overs.

Priyank Panchal and Manprit Juneja scored 24 and 23 respectively. Also, Delhi crushed Assam by eight wickets in a Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 group league encounter, courtesy impressive performances by medium pacer Subodh Bhati and off-spinner Shivam Sharma, who shared seven wickets between themselves. Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir’s decision to bowl was vindicated by his bowlers as they decimated Assam for a platry 44 in 12.1 overs. Seamer Bhati coming in as second change snared 4/9 in 3 overs while former Kings XI Punjab player Shivam had 3/7 in 3.1 overs. Pradeep Sangwan (2/21) provided initial breakthroughs.

In reply, Delhi knocked off the runs in 9.1 overs despite another failure from India discard Gambhir (10).

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