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Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020-21: Baroda, Rajasthan enter semifinals

Baroda edged out Haryana in a last-ball thriller while Rajasthan beat Bihar by 16 runs in the third and fourth quarterfinals respectively.

Baroda edged out Haryana in a thriller while Rajasthan beat Bihar in the third and fourth quarterfinals respectively at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday and joined Punjab and Tamil Nadu in the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020-21.

Here’s how the action unfolded:

Quarterfinal 3 – Haryana vs Baroda

Vishnu Solanki’s sensational effort with the bat in the third quarterfinal was at the centre of Baroda’s last-ball win over Haryana. The right-hander scored an unbeaten 71 off 46 balls, hitting 4 fours and 5 sixes, as the Kedar Devdhar-led Baroda edged out Mohit Sharma and Co. to seal a place in the semifinals.

After electing to bowl, Baroda scalped two wickets in the powerplay, dismissing both the Haryana openers. While Guntashveer Singh was run-out in the third over, courtesy a direct-hit from Baroda skipper Kedar Devdhar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, who scored a quickfire 21 off 15 got out in the fifth over.

Shivam Chauhan and Himanshu Rana then joined forces. Although the two had a couple of close shaves, they stayed put and added 80 runs together to take Haryana past hundred.

However, Baroda managed to break the partnership as Atit Sheth got Chauhan out for 35. Rana was the next man to get dismissed as Kartik Kakade picked his second wicket of the match.

Sumit Kumar then scored a brisk 20* as Haryana posted 148/7 on the board.

In the chase, Baroda were off to a solid start, scoring 33 runs in the first five overs. However, Yuzvendra Chahal’s introduction into the attack cut short the opening partnership between Devdhar and Smit Patel as the leg-spinner had Patel caught in the slips.

Vishnu Solanki joined skipper Devdhar in the middle and the pair kept the scorecard ticking, denying Haryana any immediate success. The two completed a fifty-run stand in the 13th over.

The 68-run partnership was broken in the 15th over after Sumit Kumar dismissed Devdhar for 43.

Solanki, meanwhile, continued to bat on and brought up his fifty in the 17th over as Baroda moved to 120/2. Arun Chaprana and Haryana captain Mohit Sharma kept the things tight in the 18th and 19th overs respectively, giving away just 11 runs.

Sumit Kumar returned into the attack to bowl the final over and conceded just three runs on the first three balls. With Baroda needing 15 runs off the last three balls, Solanki hit a six on the fourth ball of the over and then followed it up with a four on the penultimate delivery.

With five runs required to seal a win on the final ball, Solanki tonked a six over long-on and took Baroda to the semifinal.

Brief Scores: Baroda 150/2 (Vishnu Solanki 71*, Kedar Devdhar 43; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/15) beat Haryana 148/7 (Himanshu Rana 49, Shivam Chauhan 35; Kartik Kakade 2/7) by 8 wickets

Quarterfinal 4 – Bihar vs Rajasthan

Mahipal Lomror’s 37-ball 78*-run blitz laid the foundation of Rajasthan’s entry into the semifinals after they beat Bihar by 16 runs in the fourth and final quarterfinal.

After electing to bat, openers Bharat Sharma and Ankit Lamba gave Rajasthan a solid start, putting up a 59-run stand, before Ashutosh Aman dismissed Sharma for 38. Bihar scalped one more wicket soon after as Suraj Kashyap had Ashok Menaria caught behind the wickets for zero.

Lomror then joined Lamba in the middle and the pair took Rajasthan past hundred. However, their 49-run stand was broken as Kashyap picked up his second wicket of the match, dismissing Lamba in the 16th over.

Rajasthan were looking for a big finish and Lomror, who was batting on 33 off 19 balls with four overs to go, did just that.

The left-hander creamed three fours in the next two overs to take Rajasthan to 129/4 before bringing up his fifty in the penultimate over in 29 balls.

While Rajasthan lost Arjit Gupta’s wicket in the final over, Lomror hammered three sixes in the 20th over to move to 78 and helped Rajasthan post 164/5 on the board.  

In the chase, Shasheem Rathour got out early as Aniket Choudhary struck in the second over to give Rajasthan their first breakthrough.

While Babul Kumar scored a quickfire 24 off 20 balls, Ravi Bishnoi’s direct hit caught him short of his crease as Bihar lost their second wicket in the seventh over. S Gani was the next man to get out as Chadrapal Singh struck.

Mangal Mahrour, who had walked out to bat at number three, then completed a fine fifty and took Bihar past hundred in the 16th over. However, Bihar lost their fourth wicket in the same over as MD Rahmatullah got out.

While Mahrour and Vikash Yadav, who scored an unbeaten 27, put up an unbeaten 40-run stand, it was not enough as Rajasthan went on to complete a 16-run win.

Brief Scores: Rajasthan 164/5 (Mahipal Lomror 78*, Bharat Sharma 38; Suraj Kashyap 2/28) beat Bihar 148/4 (Mangal Mahrour 68*, Vikash Yadav 27*; Chandrapal Singh 1/21) by 16 runs