SJCC storm into semis

Cricket :College Premier League

Brilliant: SJCC’s Abhijeet (centre) stole the show with his four-wicket haul.DH photo

Abhijeet’s sensational performance with the ball (4/7) and Ashish Dhar’s crucial 58 spurred St Joseph’s College of Commerce (SJCC) to a 15-run victory over Sree Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College (SBMJC), JC Road in a league clash in the all-India College Premier League T20 tournament at the St John’s Medical College grounds here on Saturday.

SJCC and SBMJC, JC Road along with Loyola College, Chennai and Vijaya College will feature in the semifinals to be held early on Sunday at the NRA grounds. The final is slated for 6.30 pm at the same venue. 

Opting to bat, the Josephites struggled to 135 for nine after a reasonably good start. Ashish played a stellar role with his 58 off 33 balls, ensuring that the bowlers had a target to defend. The right-hander kept the scoreboard ticking although wickets kept tumbling at the other end. SBMJC’s Bhavesh was singled out for special treatment with Ashish smashing a six straight over his head in the fifth over.

Chasing 136 for top place in the group, SBMJC had the match under control until the fourth over, losing just the wicket of Chiranjeevi with 23 on the board. But they had no inkling of what was in store in the fifth over when leg-spinner Abhijeeth scalped three wickets in the space of four balls to leave them at 24 for four. Shashindra, Liyan Khan and Dinesh Borwankar, who had scored the tournament’s first hundred earlier in the morning, were the wickets to fall. 

SBMJC were further jolted when in-form Karun Nair was sent back by Abhijeet off the first ball of the sixth over, Nair giving Bharath a regulation catch at mid-on as SJCC sniffed victory.

Rahul Bhatkal and Kaunain Abbas salvaged the situation, putting on 31 before Rahul was stumped by Surendra off Neelesh in the 12th over.

At 55 for six, SBMJC were looking down the barrel with only Kaunain offering a glimmer of hope. The lanky right-hander cracked a superb 63 before he holed out to Anand at long-on off Bharath and with that, SBMJC’s hopes went up in smoke.

Brief scores: SBMJC: 231/3 in 20 overs (Dinesh Borwankar 101 n.o, Karun Nair 60) bt SBMJCE: 109 all out in 20 overs (Shashindra 3-15, Zahoor 2-4, Bhavesh 2-24).

Loyola College: 160/6 in 20 overs (Francis 43 n.o, Murali 37; Anand 2-10) lt to Presidency College: 164/7 in 19 overs (Suhel 63 n.o, Abhijith S 35; Rajanikanth 4-21).

SJCC: 135/9 in 20 overs (Ashish Dhar 58, Anand 27; Nikith 3-20) bt SBMJC: 120 all out in 20 overs (K Abbas 63; Abhijith 4-7, Bharath 2-12).

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