Cheteshwar Pujara’s first T20 century went in vain as Railways overcame a stiff target set by Saurashtra in the Group C encounter of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament in Indore.
Railways chased down 188 in 19.4 overs with five wickets to spare with openers Mrunal Devdhar (49 off 20 balls) and Pratham Singh (40 off 30 balls) giving their team a rollicking start.
Earlier, Pujara, considered to be a Test specialist, showed that he can adapt to different forms of cricket rather easily when he scored an unbeaten 61-ball 100 for Saurashtra. This was Pujara’s first T20 century, having scored six half-centuries in the past.
The 31-year-old, who is generally overlooked for the Indian Premier League as he is considered to be a batsman suited for the longer format, came out to open the innings for the Ranji Trophy finalists and hit 14 fours and a six to help Saurashtra reached 188/3 in their stipulated 20 overs after they were put to bat.
The opening combination of Pujara and Harvik Desai put up 85 runs for the first wicket in 8.5 overs with the latter adding 34 runs to the tally.
Pujara, who had completed his half century in 29 balls, was then well supported Robin Uthappa, who has moved from Karnataka in 2017, as they added 82 runs for the second wicket and took the team beyond the 150 run mark.
In response, Railways overhauled the target with two balls to spare with Abhinav Dixit (37 off 30 balls) and Harsh Tyagi (16 off 7 balls) remaining unbeaten. Saurashtra captain Jayadev Unadkat went wicket-less in his four over spell, conceding 36 runs. Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers, taking 2/27 in his four overs.