Baroda, Punjab in semifinals of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tourney
Mumbai: Baroda and Punjab advanced to the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali All India T20 tournament after notching up victories in their respective quarterfinal matches on Sunday.
Ambati Rayudu scored a brisk 56-ball 66 to guide Baroda to a comprehensive four-wicket victory over Bengal, while Punjab beat Madhya Pradesh by seven wickets at Bandra Kurla Complex here.
Electing to field, Baroda restricted Bengal to a modest 111 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs and then came back to overhaul the target, scoring 114 with four balls to spare.
Rayudu was the top-scorer and his innings was laced with nine fours and two sixes.
Earlier, MY Vahora (2/18) and K Panchal (2/23) scalped two wickets each, while Swapnil Singh (1/8) accounted for a wicket for Baroda.
Bengal batsmen got starts but they couldn`t convert them into a big score as Laxmi Ratan Shukla (27), Manoj Tiwary (19) and Anustup Majumdar (20) were all dismissed for low scores.
Baroda too had a shaky start and were 26 for three at one stage but Rayudu played the role of sheet anchor to single-handedly take the team home.
For Bengal, Shami Ahmed took three wickets giving away 14 runs.
In the other quarterfinal, VRV Singh (4/24) and Manpreet Gony (3/05) piled on the agony on Madhya Pradesh batsmen and restricted them to 120 for nine. Out-of-favour India spinner Harbhajan Singh also claimed two wickets for 23 runs in his four overs.
MP was tottering at 16 for six in 5.2 overs and if it had not been for the 74-run partnership between Rameez Khan (45) and Ankit Sharma (41) for the seventh wicket, they would have been shot out for a lower score.
Chasing a modest 121 to win, first down Gurkeerat Singh scored an unbeaten 57 and starred in two crucial stands to score 123 with two overs to spare.
He stitched 54 runs for the third wicket with opener S Kanwar (17) and then shared an unfinished 40-run partnership with Mandeep Singh (28) for the fourth wicket to see the team through.
For MP, TP Sudhindra took two for 18.
Baroda will take on Delhi in the first semi-final on Sunday, while in the second semi-final Mumbai will lock horns with Punjab.
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