SYED MUSHTAQ ALI TROPHY, 2020-21
Punjab won by 9 wickets, with 44 balls to spare © BCCI
Punjab’s seam trio of Sandeep Sharma, Arshdeep Singh and Siddarth Kaul ripped through Karnataka’s formidable batting line up, on Tuesday (January 26) at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, to help Punjab secure an easy win in the quarterfinals and make an ascendancy to the last four. Chasing 88 for a win, Punjab overhauled the total with 44 balls to spare and 9 wickets in hand – a copy of their league stage result.
Put in to bat, Karnataka openers – Devdutt Padikkal and Karun nair – got off on a steady note, before both of them were dismissed in a space of four balls. Kaul’s double blow in the fourth over paved way for a collapse – losing four wickets for two runs – from which the defending champions could never recover.
Aniruddha Joshi and Shreyas Gopal offered hope in a 25-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Ramandeep Singh had the latter caught behind. The offspinning all-rounder waged a lone battle from thereon as Punjab bowlers kept chipping away with wickets from the other end. Sandeep, Arshdeep and Ramandeep returned a brace each while Kaul bagged three to bundle out Karnataka for 87 in less than 18 overs.
Punjab, despite losing Abhishek Sharma in the opening over, had little difficulty in the chase. Prabhsimran Singh and Mandeep Singh picked up the remaining runs in only 11.4 overs from thereon, in an unbeaten 85-run stand for the second wicket.
Even as there was no hurry with the required rate at almost 4 an over, the duo picked up at least one boundary in every over of the powerplay to move to 40 for 1 in 6 overs. Mandeep remained the more sedate of the two as his younger partner finished unbeaten on a 37-ball 49 after pumping Shreyas Gopal for a six off the last ball of the chase to help his side maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament.
Punjab will now face the winner of quarterfinal 2, to be played between Bihar and Rajasthan on Wednesday.
Brief Scores: Karnataka 87 in 17.2 overs (Aniruddha Joshi 27; Siddarth Kaul 3-15, Arshdeep Singh 2-16) lost to Punjab 89/1 in 12.4 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 49*, Mandeep Singh 35*) by 9 wickets