Abhishek, Rajput set up Baroda vs Punjab clash in Syed Mushtaq Ali final

Abhishek, Rajput set up Baroda vs Punjab clash in Syed Mushtaq Ali final

Punjab and baroda They will meet in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after beating Delhi and Assam in their respective semi-finals in Mohali. Punjab made a great chase look simple before Baroda put on a complete display.

This will be the fifth final for both Baroda and Punjab, the most for any team in the tournament. In fact, the two teams met in the 2011-12 final, when Baroda beat Punjab for the first of their two titles. Punjab have not won the competition in any of their four previous finals. The title clash will be on Monday in Mohali.

Abhishek and Mandeep lead Punjab

Punjab 184 for 4 (Abhishek 77, Mandeep 63*, Mayank 2-28) won Delhi 183 for 7 (Badoni 80*, Rawat 34, Kaul 3-27) for 6 wickets

Coming to bat in the fourth over after Sidharth Kaul returned opener Priyansh Arya and Yash Dhull, Badoni remained unbeaten till the end, holding Delhi’s innings together in Mohali as others around him fell away without offering much support after Anuj Rawat’s initial explosion.

Rawat, who scored a half-century in the quarter-finals, was largely responsible for Delhi’s initial push. He hit five fours and a six while racing to 34 for 22.

But after left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar defeated Rawat, it was up to Badoni to take Delhi to a fighting total and he did so with aplomb. The 23-year-old hit seven fours and four sixes as Delhi piled up 94 runs in the last ten overs.

Right-arm quick Mayank Yadav struck twice in the third over of the chase and Punjab also lost Anmolpreet Singh late in the powerplay but kept pace with the required pace as they piled up 55 runs in the first six.

Abhishek and Mandeep then added 102 off 58 deliveries to put Punjab in the driving seat. Abhishek fell to Suyash Sharma for 77 off 45, but Mandeep got Punjab through along with Nehal Wadhera, with eight balls to spare.

Suyash took two wickets to finish his campaign with 18 wickets in seven games. He is only behind Ravi Teja (19) in the wickets charts. Abhishek, who had a series of low scores after a spectacular start to the campaign, rose to second place in the performance charts.

Baroda ends Assam and Parag’s dream run

baroda 146 for 4 (Rathva 44, Jyotsnil 37, Sengupta 2-32) won Assam 143 (Rishav 48, Danish 32, Rajput 4-29) for 6 wickets

It has been an excellent season for Assam and its captain Riyan Parag. Parag reached seven consecutive half-centuries, the first time in the history of the competition, and Assam reached the semi-finals for the first time.

But that was the end of the road for them as Baroda overcame them to reach their second final in the last four years.

Assam started well after being put into bat. Openers Denish Das and Rishav Das took them to 46 before the former was out for 32 in the last over of the powerplay against Atit Sheth. Assam’s quarter-final hero Sumit Ghadigaonkar failed to make an impact and Parag too came out cheaply to leave Assam in trouble.

Rishav tried to rebuild, but Assam fell further from 99 for 3 to 111 for 6 and were eventually bowled out for 143. Abhimanyusingh Rajput was the pick of the Baroda bowlers, taking four wickets, while Sheth struck twice.

If Assam had any hopes of pulling off an improbable victory in a low-scoring thriller, Baroda’s openers thwarted them with an 81-run stand in 47 balls. Although Baroda then lost three wickets for 19 runs, including openers Ninad Rathva and Jyotsnil Singh, they were in too comfortable a position for Assam to mount a possible comeback.