Maharashtra make it three in a row
Maharashtra climbed to the top of the Super League Group A table of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a 14-run win over Jharkhand, the victory giving them 12 points from three games and a great chance of making the title round.
It was likely to be a steep chase for Jharkhand anyway, and only got tougher after they lost their top-five batsmen with only 64 runs on the board by the 11th over. There was no real let up, as the eighth wicket fell on 95, and Vikash Singh's slam-bang 46 not out in 29 balls, with three fours and three sixes, only served to reduce the deficit.
Jharkhand's campaign ended with two wins and two losses in the Super League stage.
Deshpande, Bista help Mumbai rout Vidarbha
Mumbai kept their chances of qualification alive with a six-wicket win over Vidarbha, first restricting the Ranji Trophy champions to 137 for 8 and then dashing past the target in just 15.4 overs.
Tushar Deshpande, the medium pacer, followed up his 4 for 19 in the previous game against Delhi with returns of 3 for 38 and Shardul Thakur picked up 2 for 21 as Vidarbha struggled to put together a major partnership. Four of their batsmen - Jitesh Sharma, Ganesh Satish, Rushabh Rathod and Umesh Yadav, from No. 8 - got past 20 but couldn't carry on as Mumbai got a breakthrough each time they needed it.
The chase was helmed by opener Jay Bista. He lost opening partner Siddhesh Lad early, but then added 51 for the second wicket with Shreyas Iyer (28) and 33 more for the third with Suryakumar Yadav, who blazed away to a 10-ball 25. Bista ended with an unbeaten 73 in 51 balls, with nine fours and two sixes.
Mumbai's last game of the Super League is against Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.
Spinners help Gujarat get on the points table
After being pushed to the bottom half of the Group A table in the Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Gujarat finally registered a win, their spinners applying the choke on bottom-placed Railways.
Led by Piyush Chawla, Gujarat's bowlers restricted Railways to 110 for 9 in 20 overs and their batsmen then needed less than 16 overs to chase down the target, with Piyush Tanwar's unbeaten 55 setting up the run past the post.
The Railways innings did not get off the ground after they had opted to bat, as they lost their first five wickets within the Powerplay for only 36. The lower middle-order, particularly Harsh Tyagi (32 not out off 34 balls) tried to inject some fight and managed to push the score past 100 in the last few overs.
Apart from the three wickets, Chawla was also the most economical bowler, conceding 12 runs off his four overs, and was ably supported by offspinner Karan Patel (1-23) and Axar Patel (10 runs off 3 overs).
Gujarat lost captain Priyank Panchal in the first over, but by the time Railways managed to take a second wicket, Parthiv Patel and Tanwar had added 68 in 8.1 overs, as good as confirming the victory. Tanwar's 55 came off 43 balls and included five fours and two sixes.
Negi, Shorey hand Delhi first win in the tournament
Delhi earned their first points in the tournament with a four-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh, who suffered their third straight loss in the competition. With the win, Delhi, who have now completed their campaign, pushed UP down to last place in the group, though UP have another game, and can still avoid the ignominy of a bottom-place finish.
UP's decision to bat first didn't quite go as planned as they scored at less than a run a ball in the Powerplay. Pawan Negi's double-strike in the seventh over then reduced UP to 37 for 2. A 44-run third-wicket stand between Priyam Garg and Akshdeep Nath resuscitated the innings, but the pair fell within the space of four deliveries for only a run thanks to Navdeep Saini, who removed Garg, and Negi, who accounted for Nath.
Rinku Singh's 17-ball 21, along with Shubham Chaubey's 29 off 21 balls helped UP put on 140 for 6.
In reply, Delhi lost their top three inside the first eight balls. Ankit Rajpoot dealt two blows in the opening over, taking out Manjot Kalra and Unmukt Chand before Hiten Dalal fell to Yash Dayal in the following over. Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana added a sedate 41 for the fourth wicket, with Shorey pressing on to make an unbeaten 48-ball 62. His fifty anchored the chase as Pranshu Vijayran and Lalit Rana chipped in with 34 and 16 respectively that helped seal the chase with two balls to spare.