Mandeep Singh led from the front with an unbeaten 99 to help Punjab trounce Tripura by five wickets on Monday and storm into the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy as table-toppers from Group A.
Defending champions Karnataka also remained in the hunt for the last-eight berth, securing a five-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh that took their net run-rate to 0.292.
Unbeaten Baroda qualified for the knockout stage as they finished on top in Group C following a 12-run win over Gujarat. Jharkhand saw off the challenge of Hyderabad via a super over in an Elite Group B match.
Five Elite group winners and the Plate group toppers qualify directly, while the remaining two spots are grabbed by the two best teams from across the Elite groups, decided on the basis of points, wins, head-to-head and net run rate, in that order.
Tripura’s decision to field backfired at the KSCA Cricket (2) Ground as Mandeep took the opposition bowling attack to cleaners, smashing four sixes and nine fours in his 66-ball unbeaten knock to take them to an imposing 183/3.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann gave the Punjab skipper a fine support at the other end as he struck six sixes and three fours in a quickfire 33-ball 63 in their entertaining 110-run partnership.
Tripura opener Udiyan Bose (50 from 37 balls) and middle-order batsman Milind Kumar (64 not out from 40 balls) struck half-centuries but their effort was not enough as their team was restricted to 161/4.
With five wins on the trot, Punjab finished on top with 20 points and sealed their quarter-final spot.
In a must-win match, home side Karnataka restricted Uttar Pradesh to 132/8 before Shreyas Gopal’s unbeaten 47 off 28 balls (5x4, 1x6) scripted a 22-run win with three balls to spare.
The defending champions will now have to wait from the results of the other Elite group results to ascertain their last-eight passage.
Left arm spinner J Suchith returned with 3/21 but it was Praveen Dubey who was splendid with his tidy figures of 3/15 that included the wicket of veteran Suresh Raina (4) to stymie Uttar Pradesh after a brisk start by openers Abhishek Goswami and Karan Sharma, who stitched 69 runs in 50 balls.
Karnataka overcame mid-innings jitters with Gopal’’s steering the chase at No 6 with his calm-headed innings.
Baroda had come into the final Elite Group C match, after winning their first four games.
Put into bat at the F B Colony ground here, Baroda rode on an unbeaten 59 by Vishnu Solanki and a whirlwind 17-ball 34 by Abhimanyusingh Rajput to post a competitive 176 for four and then restricted Gujarat to 164/9 to eke out a win.
Baroda openers, skipper Kedar Devdhar (26) and Smit Patel (34) could not convert their start into big scores as Gujarat bowlers led by captain and left-arm bowler Axar Patel (2/13) kept making inroads.
It was Solanki, who took the onus on himself and played a matured knock.
Solanki, who hammered eight fours and a lone six, finally found an able ally in Rajput, who hit three fours and two sixes, as the two forged a valuable 50-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Gujarat, could not capitalise on the decent start given by their openers Dhruv Raval (41) and Priyesh Patel (17) as the duo added 60-runs for the first wicket.
Skipper Patel (36), who came one-down, number five Chirag Gandhi (25) and number six Ripal Patel (29) raised the hopes of a win but in the end it was Baroda bowlers who had the last laugh.
After Ripal Patel was dismissed, it was all over for Gujarat.
For Baroda, left-arm spinner Ninad Rathwa (3/4) was the pick of the bowlers and was ably supported by another slow-left arm bowler Bhargav Bhatt (2/28).
Jharkhand opted to field after winning the toss and restricted Hyderabad to 139 for eight in 20 overs, with left-arm medium-pacer Vikash Singh and right-arm medium-pacer Vivekanand Tiwary picking up three wickets each.
B Sandeep (37, 34 balls, 4 fours) was the top-scorer while Himalay Agarwal and Buddhi Rahul contributed 26 each as Hyderabad posted a modest score.
In reply, Jharkhand started in earnest with skipper Ishan Kishan (27) and Utkarsh Singh (29) going on the attack. The dismissal of Kishan by T Ravi Teja did not seem to deter Utkarsh and Virat Singh, who went for their shots.
Right-arm medium-pacer Ajay Dev Goud (4/22) struck three quick blows and reduced Jharkhand to 78 for four and despite some late hitting by Kushal Singh (24) and Anukul Roy (30, 13 balls, 3 sixes), the team lost its way again and finished on 139 for nine.
In the super over, Kishan smacked two sixes off C Rakshann Reddy while Roy hoisted one over the boundary as Jharkhand ended up with 23 runs. Hyderabad could only muster 14 for one.
Jharkhand are in third place with 12 points after completing their engagements in the group while Hyderabad are fifth with 4 points. Odisha beat Assam by four wickets to finish at the bottom with one win.
Tamil Nadu, who have so far won all their four games, meet hosts Bengal (three wins from four games) in the final Group B match.
At F B Colony Ground: Baroda 176/4 (Vishnu Solanki 59 not out, Abhimanyusingh Rajput 34; Axar Patel 2/13, Roosh Kalaria 1/35) won against Gujarat 164/9 (Dhruv Raval 41, Axar Patel 36, Ninad Rathwa 3/4, Bhargav Bhatt 2/28) by 12 runs.
At Motibaug ground: Maharashtra 117/9 (Ruturaj Gaikwad 33, Azim Kazi 17; Rishi Dhawan 3/22, Pankaj Jaiswal 2/18) lost to Himachal Pradesh 121/6 (Rishi Dhawan 61 not out, Ayush Jamwal 27 not out; Azim Kazi 2/10, Pradeep Dadhe 2/24) by four wickets.
At Reliance ground: Uttarakhand 167/8 (Jay Bista 92, Kunal Chandela 25; Sourabh Majumdar 3/35) and 3/0 lost to Chhattisgarh 167/9 (Vishal Singh 37, Ajay Mandal 29; A Madhwal 2/17) and 15/1 – via Super Over
At Jadavpur University Campus: Assam 148 for 5 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 42, Rajjakuddin Ahmed 32) lost to Odisha 154 for 6 in 19 overs (Subhransu Senapati 64) by four wickets. Odisha: 4 points, Assam: 0.
At Eden Gardens: Hyderabad 139 for 9 in 20 overs (B Sandeep 37, Himalay Agarwal 26, Rahul Buddhi 26, Vivekanand Tiwari 3/25, Vikash Singh 3/36) tied Jharkhand 139 for 9 in 20 overs (Utkarsh Singh 29, Anukul Roy 28, Ishan Kishan 27, Ajay Dev Goud 4/22). Super over: Jharkhand 23/0 beat Hyderabad 14/1. Jharkhand: 4 points, Hyderabad: 0.
Uttar Pradesh 132/8; 20 overs (Abhishek Goswami 47, Karan Sharma 41, Suresh Raina 4, Priyam Garg 6; J Suchith 3/21, Praveen Dubey 3/15) lost to Karnataka 136/5; 19.3 overs (Shreyas Gopal 47 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 34; Sharma 2/23, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 0/22) by five wickets.
Punjab 183/3; 20 overs (Mandeep Singh 99 not out, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 63) beat Tripura 161/4; 20 overs (Milind Kumar 64 not out, Udiyan Bose 50, Rajat Dey 38 not out) by 22 runs.
Railways 133/9; 20 overs (Mrunal Devdhar 57, Pratham Singh 42; Umran Malik 3/24, Parvez Rasool 2/19) lost to Jammu and Kashmir 135/3; 15.5 overs (Suryansh Raina 48, Abdul Samad 39) by seven wickets.
With PTI Inputs