SMAT T20: Bowlers, Rana guide UP to quarter-final, Assam knock out Bengal

Mohali, Oct 31 (PTI) Veteran seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and a fully-fit Mohsin Khan’s superb bowling effort was complemented by Nitish Rana’s power-packed half-century as Uttar Pradesh comfortably beat Gujarat by six wickets to enter the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament here on Tuesday.

Batting first, UP bowlers were bang on target as Gujarat managed a below-par 127 for 8 in 20 overs. UP crossed the target with eight balls to spare and never looked under pressure with Rana smashing unbeaten 71 off 49 balls.

Bhuvneshwar, who has now been out of national reckoning for more than a year, gave nice exhibition of seam and swing bowling to pick up 3 for 21 in four overs while the lanky left-arm fast bowler Mohsin pegged the Gujarat batters back with pace and bounce to end with figures of 2/13.

Kartik Tyagi, one of the fastest pacers in the Indian domestic circuit, also regularly breached the 140 clicks to take 1 for 27. Saurav Chauhan (32 off 21 balls) was the only notable scorer for the losing team.

In reply, UP quickly lost a couple of wickets to be reduced to 22 for 2 at start of the fourth over but Rana along with Sameer Rizvi (30 off 39 balls) added 81 runs in 12.1 overs to put the team on the cusp of victory.

Rana’s innings had seven fours and two sixes — one each off pacer Chintan Gaja and off-spinner Arya Desai.

It was Dhruv Jurel (13 not out), who ended the proceedings, hitting a four and a six off left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla, best known for being one of Indian Test team’s regular net bowlers.

In the other match of the day, Riyan Parag notched up his seventh consecutive half-century as Assam defeated Bengal eight wickets to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Assam were powered by an all-round show by their skipper Parag, who had earlier returned with figures of 4-0-23-2, whereas Akash Sengupta’s 3/29 helped them restrict Bengal to a modest 138/8 in their 20 overs.

Invited to bat, a few Bengal batters got starts but failed to convert them into big knocks.

Karan Lal top-scored with 24 while opener Abhimanyu Easwaran made 21. Abhishek Porel made 23 and Kaushik Maity scored a late 21 not out.

Assam lost Denish Das (10) early in the fourth over but Rishav Das did well to hit a 26-ball 31.

Bishal Roy (45 not out, 36 balls, 6x4s, 1x6s) and Parag finished the job for their side, remaining unbeaten on 50 off 31 balls and hit four sixes and two fours in the process.

Brief Scores: Gujarat: 127/8 in 20 overs (Saurav Chauhan 32 off 21 balls, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/21, Mohsin Khan 2/13).

UP: 130/4 in 18.4 overs (Nitish Rana 71 not out off 49 balls, Sameer Rizvi 30 off 39 balls, Ravi Bishnoi 2/29).

Assam vs Bengal: Bengal: 138 for 8 in 20 overs (Karan Lal 24; Akash Sengupta 3/29).

Assam: 142 for 2 in 17.5 overs (Riyan Parag 50 not out, Bishal Roy 45 not out; Mukesh Kumar 1/29).

Source: PTI News

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