Kerala overcame a batting collapse to sneak a three-wicket win over Haryana and maintain its unbeaten run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament at Mohali on Friday. Kerala, set a modest target of 132, has to thank P.A. Abdul Bazith, who scored 27 not out off just 15 balls (3×4, 1×6).
Bazith, in his first season for Kerala, had come in at 90 for six, with Kerala needing another 42 runs. After Sijomon Joseph fell for 13, he found an able ally in Manu Krishnan. they added 26 for their unfinished eighth wicket to take their side home with an over to spare.
Openers Vishnu Vinod (25, 26b, 2×4, 1×6) and Rohan Kunnummal (26, 18b, 5×4) had given Kerala another fine start, putting on 52 before Jayant Yadav bowled the latter.
In the next over, Amit Mishra took the most valuable wicket of Sanju Samson, who had joined the team the previous day after the ODI series against South Africa. The skipper could make only three.
In the following over, Rahul Tewatia trapped Vishnu lbw. Haryana’s quality spin-attack had Kerala in a spot of bother. The trouble deepened when the in-form Mohammed Azharuddeen was run out for 13, but Haryana’s hopes were dashed by Bazith, who had earlier in the day taken a wicket off the first ball of the match with his off-spin.
The highlight of the Haryana innings (131 for seven) was the 62-run stand for the seventh wicket between Sumit Kumar (30 not out, 23b, 3×6) and Jayant (39, 25b, 5×4, 1×6).
In another Group C match, Karnataka crushed Meghalaya by nine wickets with 9.5 overs to spare. After losing Devdutt Padikkal for a duck in the opening over, captain Mayank Agarwal (47 not out, 29b, 4×4, 3×6) and Manish Pandey (42 not out, 28b, 5×4, 2×6) added 90 for the unbroken second wicket to overtake Meghalaya’s 89 for eight.
Seamer Vyshak Vijaykumar took three for five from four overs, while Larry Sangma (34, 25b, 2×4, 2×6) top-scored for Meghalaya.