Mumbai beat Punjab; Pujara shines again for Saurashtra

Led by pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, Mumbai defended a modest 156-run target as they defeated Punjab by 35 runs in their Group C Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match here Friday, registering their second successive win in the premier domestic T20 tournament.

In another Group C game, Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, who had hit an unbeaten 100 in 61 balls against Railways Thursday, continued his good form as he scored 68 to help Saurashtra defeat Madhya Pradesh by 6 wickets.

This was Saurashtra's first win in the tournament.

On Thursday, Mumbai had kicked-off their campaign on a winning note, thrashing minnows Sikkim by a staggering 154 runs.

Asked to bat first, Punjab bowlers led by medium pacer Baltej Singh (3-30) and left-arm seamer Barinder Singh Sran (3-34) dished out a clinical performance as they bundled out a formidable Mumbai for a modest 155 in their 20 overs Friday.

Surya Kumar Yadav was Mumbai's top-scorer as he hit a quick-fire 80 in just 49 balls.

Earlier, skipper Ajinkya Rahane (0) and young prodigy Prithvi Shaw (8) had another failure with the bat as Mumbai slumped to 8-2 early on.

But in-form Shreyas Iyer (46), who had made a record- breaking 147 against Sikkim, and Yadav stitched a crucial 126- run stand for the third wicket.

While Iyer hammered four fours and three shots over the fence, Yadav struck nine boundaries and four sixes in his stroke-filled innings at the Emerald Heights International School Ground here.

After Iyer's dismissal, `crisis man' Siddhesh Lad went for a duck and then Mumbai lost wickets in a heap and eventually folded up for 155.

Unheralded 18-year-old Punjab opener Prabhsimran Singh, who has been picked by IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, gave Mumbai a scare with a blazing 54 in just 20 balls, an innings studded with six boundaries and four sixes.

But he lacked support from his opening partner Shubhman Gill (1) and one down Mandeep Singh (5).

Gurkeerat Mann (24) got a start but failed to convert it into a big score.

All other Punjab batsmen, including veteran Yuvraj Singh, had an off-day in office as their innings folded up at 120 in 18.2 overs.

With the win, Mumbai added four more points to their kitty.

Kulkarni (4-22) was ably supported by Shubham Ranjane (2-14), while Shams Mulani (1-26), Shardul Thakur (1-42) and Tushar Deshpande (1-15) picked a wicket each to fashion Mumbai's victory.

Brief scores: Group C: At Indore (Emeralds High School Ground): Mumbai 155 all out (Surya Kumar Yadav 80, Shreyas Iyer 46; Baltej Singh 3-30) won against Punjab 120 all out (Prabhsimran Singh 54, Gurkeerat Mann 24; Dhawal Kulkarni 4-22) by 35 runs.

Mumbai 4 points, Punjab 0 points.

At Indore (Holkar Stadium): Sikkim 100/8 (Bibek 22, Palzor 19; Lakshay Garg 3-14, Darshan Misal 2-19) lost to Goa 104/2 (Sagun Kamat 50 not out, Amit Verma 23; Luitel 1-16) by 8 wickets.

Goa 4 points, Sikkim 0 points.

Madhya Pradesh 138 all out (Parth Sahani 49, Abhishek Bhandari 30; Chetan Sakariya 4-38, Jaydev Unadkat 3-19) lost to Saurashtra 139/4 (Cheteshwar Pujara 68, H Desai 56; Ishwar Chandra Pandey 2-26) by six wickets.

Saurashtra 4 points, MP 0 points.

Group B: At Surat: Bihar 103/8 (Babul Kumar 27, Rahmat Ullah 18; Yash Thakur 2-12, Akshay Karnewar 2-17) lost to Vidarbha 104/3 (S U Srivastava 49 not out, R L Jangid 27 not out; Vivek 2-27) by seven wickets.

Vidarbha 4 points, Bihar 0 points.

Himachal Pradesh 207/4 (A K Bains 68, P S Chopra 53; Neetesh Sharma 1-17) won against Meghalaya 142/6 (Gurinder Singh 49 not out, Yogesh Nagar 44; Ankit Rajan Maini 3-24) by 65 runs. Himachal 4 points, Meghalaya 0 points.

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Mumbai beat Punjab; Pujara shines again for Saurashtra

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