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2014 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Final: Baroda vs UPCA

Baroda clinch domestic T20 title in thrilling last-ball finish

Baroda lifted the 2014 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a three-run win over Uttar Pradesh at Wankhede Stadium. After Aditya Waghmode ensured the team got a modest total on the board with his 31-ball 42, the bowlers took Baroda to a last-ball victory. They claimed five wickets in the last quarter to seize the momentum from UP and clinch a thrilling win. UP, who were coasting along at 116 for one, collapsed after Prashant Gupta was removed by Lukman Meriwala to leave the team on 116 for two in the 17th over. The bowlers then held their nerves to keep the opposition down to 141 for seven and claim victory. Meriwala finished with three wickets.

Earlier, after an 80-run opening stand, the Baroda line-up was restricted to 144 for seven by the UP bowlers, after asking them to bat first. Waghmode’s quick-fire knock, at the top of the order, helped lay a solid platform, but the rest of the line-up failed to build on it. After taking the team to 80, the opener was caught at point off Ali Murtaza for 42. Only 64 runs came in the next 10.1 overs as the Baroda batsmen struggled to gain momentum.

Kedar Devdhar, who had played the perfect foil en route to his 26, offered a simple catch to point off PP Gupta. And then, his opening partner walked back in the next over. Shatrunjay Gaekwad was run out after adding just six to the total. While Hardik Pandya scored a run-a-ball 22, Abhijit Karambelkar and Karmran Shaikh returned for single-digit scores. With runs hard to come by, Hardik departed taking the aerial route. Pinal Shah, who replaced Shaikh, joined Krunal Pandya to add 12 runs to take the team to 144, before the former was caught off the last ball of the innings.

Mukul Dagar and Prashant Gupta then took guard to chase the modest target. With the score on 18, Dagar edged Hardik to the ‘keeper to depart for three in the fourth over. Eklavya Dwivedi then joined Prashant in taking the innings forward. The pair chipped away at the target as they took the team to 50 in the 10th over.

Prashant, who had held up one end while he milked the bowlers, cut Krunal to the boundary as he worked to maintain the steady pace of the innings. The partnership too went past the 50-run mark in the third quarter of the innings. The opener reached his half-century as the fielder in the deep couldn’t hold on to a tough chance and ball rolled over to the fence. And with another boundary in the same over, they collected 11 runs from it.

With 44 runs required in 30 overs and two set top-order batsman in the middle, Uttar Pradesh were in a commanding position. The pair ran singles and twos and inched towards the target. They had added 98 for the second wicket when Prashant struck Meriwala to mid-on and was caught by Karmabelkar.

With Prashant’s innings coming to an end, Rinku Singh made his made way to the middle. But he soon departed while attempting to pull Munaf. Meanwhile, Dwivedi continued to anchor the innings and reached his 50. He was then joined by Nath, who was run out while responding to the striker’s call and sent back.

In the next over, Dwivedi returned, leaving the team on 132 for five. With 13 runs required from nine balls, Umang Sharma came out to bat. But off the last ball of the penultimate over, Karmabelkar pulled off a blinder running towards the sightscreen. Meriwala had struck a vital double-blow to leave the opposition on 134 for six.

With 11 required and Upendra Yadav and Praveen Kumar in the middle, Rishi Arothe bowled the final over. With Yadav lofting the ball over long-on for a six, UP needed four off the last ball. Arothe then ensured Baroda denied UP a famous win as Yadav ended up edging him to the ‘keeper.  

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Report: Kerala vs Baroda, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, 2014

Baroda lose, yet reach finals based on net run-rate

Although Baroda’s winning streak was halted by Kerala, the team from West Zone sealed its berth in the final on the basis of their net run-rate. The team from South Zone beat Baroda by 22 runs in the Group B match of the T20 Super League for the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy in Mumbai in the quest to claim a berth in the final. After setting the opposition a 153-run target, thanks to a late blitzkrieg by Raiphi Gomez (42* off 19 balls), Kerala bowlers restricted Baroda to 130 for eight.

Earlier, opting to field first at Wankhede Stadium, Munaf Patel struck twice in the third over to leave Kerala on 15 for two. He trapped Rakesh KJ leg-before, while Vishnu Vinod pulled to short mid-wicket to follow him back in the hut.

Rohan Prem then joined VA Jagdeesh in the middle, and the pair added 39 runs for the third wicket, until Krunal Pandya caught the latter off his own bowling. Prem, who had come to the crease after the fall of two quick wickets, hit Rishi Arothe straight to claim four runs. In the next over, Jagdeesh struck Hardik Pandya fine past the ‘keeper to collect four more en route to the team’s 50. However, he departed in the following over.

In Krunal’s next over, the bowler was hit over midwicket for six by J Jafar. But he also picked the wicket of Rohan Prem. He dislodged Prem’s bails for 30, and in his next over, he accounted for Sachin Baby’s wicket to leave Kerala on 81 for five.

Jafar Jamal and Raiphi Gomez then took on the Baroda attack to build a 30-ball 55-run stand. While Jamal found the ropes, Gomez joined in gleaning runs off the Baroda bowlers. His 19-ball 42* cameo gave Kerala the necessary impetus. Gomez lofted Munaf over long-on and long-off in the penultimate over. It was on the first ball of the last over that Lukman Meriwala sent back Jamal for 37. However, with P Prasanth for company, Gomez took the team to 152 for six with a big hit off the last ball.

Kedar Devdhar and Aditya Waghmode then came out to chase the competitive score, but the former was run out with the team on 32. Abhimanyu Chauhan was caught by Prem off his own bowling after adding just two to the total. Hardik then joined Waghmode in carrying the innings forward as Baroda looked to seal their spot in the final.

While the Kerala bowlers toiled to create breakthroughs, the pair continued to milk them. Runs came at a steady pace for Baroda as Waghmode led the charge while anchoring the innings. Unbeaten on 46 in his previous innings, Waghmode smashed Rakesh for six to inch towards his half-century, and then ran two to bring up his 50 off 31 balls. However, he handed a catch to the bowler off the next delivery to depart with the team on 87 for three.

He was replaced by Deepak Hooda in the middle. Kerala used as many as seven bowlers as they looked for a wicket. Rohan Prem, who had been more economical of the bowlers, accounted for Hooda. After Hooda perished while taking the aerial route, Abhijit Karmabelkar walked out to the middle and was castled in the next over.

With half the side back in the dressing room and Baroda needing 59 off last five overs, the match was headed for a close finish. Hardik Pandya was dismissed by Rakesh, while a direct hit from extra cover later in the over got rid of Pinal Shah, leaving the team on 105 for seven in the 18th over.

With the match tipped in Kerala’s favour, Arothe joined Krunal in the middle. With the team on 125, Krunal too was sent back by Rakesh in the last over. Arothe and Meriwala then took the team to 130 for eight at the end of their quota of overs.