New Delhi: Shivam Sharma scored his maiden T20 fifty as he anchored Kent Northern Stars Jamia Millia Islamia to a facile 8-wicket victory in a group B match against Jaypee Cement Eastern Tigers Awadesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa on Friday night. The win was Jamia's third in as many games in group B and it takes them to the last-four stage of the Toyota University Cricket Championship.
Chasing Rewa's 117 for 5, Sharma played a classy 72 off 49 balls as Jamia cruised along easily in front of a partisan crowd that enjoyed every bit of the rather one-sided match. Jamia won with 16 balls to spare as Rewa lacked the aggression and desire in a must-win game. The Tigers had lost their first match against Madras University by 41 runs.
Rewa's lack of experience against their city counterparts was exposed once again as the team lacked the tactical knowledge to defend a low score.
Jamia's depth in batting was clear on Friday night. Even after the exit of the in-form Amit Verma for 5, the Batsman and Man of the Match Shivam Sharma stroked the ball very well and scored runs from all areas in the park. The second-wicket partnership of 66 runs between Sharma and skipper Parveen Yadav (21) was enough for Jamia to nail the Tigers.
Earlier, Rewa failed to take advantage of winning the toss and managed to score all of 117 for 5 in their 20 overs. In a crunch game, the Rewa boys rode a 40-ball 43 by opener Ajay Tiwari but the middle order failed to push the scoring rate to the desired levels.
A cameo 13-ball 19 by left-handed Naveen Tiwari lifted the momentum for a bit but with the pressure of scoring at a brisker pace mounting, the Rewa captain was run out in the 15th over trying to steal a non-existent run.
Jamia used their bowling resources well and the decision to use spinners Deepak Sharma and Mayank Vashisht early paid dividends as both crucial breakthroughs. Ajay Tiwari top-edged a sweep against Sharma and Avi Boudh (17), tried a poor-man's 'Dilscoop' against a fuller ball from Vashisht and was comprehensively bowled. Shashank Tiwari was unbeaten on 21 (19 balls) as the last five overs produced only 32 runs.
Northern Stars Jamia Millia clinch third match in-a-row in Group B to become second team after Jain University, Bengaluru to storm into TUCC semifinals.