It indeed turned out to be a David versus Goliath story. Southern Champs Jain University Bengaluru proved too strong for Eastern Eagles Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University Jaunpur as the all-India Rohinton Baria Trophy champions won their first match of the Toyota University Cricket Championship by 130 runs on Sunday.
Chasing an imposing winning target of 199 in 20 overs, the Eagles lost wickets at regular intervals as the Bengaluru bowlers maintained a good line to stifle the Jaunpur boys. The inexperience of playing on a big day showed clearly as the Eagles made several mistakes on a good batting wicket. They managed all of 68 for nine in 20 overs.
Probably playing a competitive match under floodlights for the first time, bowling all-rounder Gulab Nishad was Jaunpur's best batsman with 24. Skipper Bijendra Singh (11) was only other batsman to reach double figures. Prabhakar Rajendra and Shashindra took two wickets apiece for the Jain boys.
Earlier in the evening, a brilliant 65-ball 128 not out by skipper Kaunain Abbas and his 143-run stand with opener Gaurav Goel (55) helped Southern Champs score an imposing 198 for 3 in their 20 overs on Sunday night. Abbas' century was the first of the Toyota University Cricket Championship.
Eastern Eagles struck in the very first over but could not translate that advantage of winning the toss on a green-top Chinnaswamy Stadium wicket. Their bowling and fielding fell apart as the game wore on. Pacer Anuj Gupta had opener Shashindra caught at point for 0, but the Eagles ran out of steam as Abbas and Goel took charge on a lovely batting track.
The inexperience in the Eagles bowling attack was exploited by the Southern Champs as runs came thick and fast with Man of the Match Abbas leading the rampage with a 34-ball fifty, laced with eight boundaries. The Rohinton Baria champions were averaging more than 7 runs an over at the mid-way stage.
The Goel-Abbas partnership was broken in the 17 over by Gupta. Goel got a leading edge and was caught and bowled. He made 55 off 49 balls. But Abbas carried on the good work, slamming the ball with great power and plundering 29 runs in the 19th over as Jain University raced to an imposing total.
One of the unknown quantities in the TUCC, Purvanchal University qualified for the Rohinton Baria Trophy 2012-13 for the first time since the establishment of the University in 1987. Purvanchal beat Rewa University to become champions of East Zone for the first time in their 26-year history.