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SMAT: Baroda will now take on Tamil Nadu in the finals

February 1, 2021

Written By,

Ankit Seth

Baroda will face Tamil Nadu in the finals after defeating Punjab by 25 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy's second semi-final. The tournament's final is scheduled for the newly built Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, January 31.

After winning the toss, Punjab decided to field first. Baroda posted a competitive target of 160 for 3. The fifties from captain Kevdar Devdhar and Kartik Kakade laid the foundation for Baroda's massive total. Devdhar opened the innings and hit a 49-ball 64, while Kakade hit a 41-ball 53. The side lost their opener Ninad Rathva (15) early as he was dismissed by experienced pacer Siddharth Kaul (1/31).

Chasing 161, Punjab lost their opener Abhishek Sharma in the second over. Punjab captain Mandeep Singh, who was dealing with a shoulder injury, scored a valiant knock of 24-ball 42. On the other end, Gurkeerat Mann Singh scored 39 runs but eventually lost his wicket in the 15th over.  However, it was still not enough as Punjab fell short of a 160-run target against them. Baroda won the match by 25 runs in the second semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Baroda outshines despite losing big stars

Baroda, who was without the services of their star players Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda, have collectively played brilliantly so far in the tournament. Vishnu Solanki and Kedar Devdhar stepped up and delivered in the quarter-finals and semi-final day.

While defending the total, Baroda came up with a remarkable performance with the ball as well. Lukman Meriwala picked up three crucial wickets and the fielders also did not miss any catching opportunity. The Baroda cricket team managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals and make sure Punjab did not gain any momentum through their innings.

Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu chased down a 155-run target against Rajasthan. Arun Karthik led Tamil Nadu into their second consecutive Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final. The batsman slammed 89 runs and shaped their seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan in the first semi-final. Arun Karthik hammered nine boundaries and three sixes in his brilliant knock. He finished the game with a boundary.

Baroda will now take on Tamil Nadu in the final clash on January 31. Baroda has now made it to their fourth Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final in 12 editions, while Tamil Nadu will be featuring in their third final. 

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Written By,

Ankit Seth