Baroda beat arch-rivals Mumbai by 13 runs in the West Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 League opener at the SCA Stadium on Sunday. Baroda, who had got the better of Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy group league earlier in the season, once again proved they were the better of the two sides in the shortened version of the game. Baroda rattled up an imposing score of 210 for 3, powered by half centuries by wicket-keeper and opener Urvil Patel (50 in 29 balls) and captain Deepak Hooda (66 in 39 balls), who struck eight fours and one six, besides a breezy knock of 44 not out in 26 balls, studded with three sixes and a four, by Krunal Pandya.
Barring Dhawal Kulkarni, who returned figures of 1 for 29, the other Mumbai bowlers were expensive by 20-over standards with medium pacer Shardul Thakur leaking 47 runs in his four overs without a wicket against his name. In reply, Mumbai were stopped at 197 for 8 with Siddesh Lad's 82 off 51 balls with four sixes and six fours being its cornerstone.
Atit Sheth and Lukman Meriwala, who had troubled the Mumbai batsmen in the Ranji game, were once again among the pick of the Baroda bowlers with excellent returns of 3 for 31, including the scalp of Lad, and 3 for 29 respectively. Baroda also secured four points from the victory. In the second match of the day, Maharashtra tripped Gujarat by four wickets with three balls to spare. Medium-pacer Domnic Muthuswamy was in fine fettle as he grabbed 4 for 27 to help Maharashtra restrict Gujarat to 151 for 8 which was chased down by the latter who made 154 for 6 in 19.3 overs.
In the Gujarat innings, captain Axar Patel made 38 and also added 57 runs for the sixth wicket with Chirag Gandhi who struck a 37-ball unbeaten 61, dotted with one six and six fours. The duo rescued Gujarat from a tottering 45 for five. Chasing the score, Maharashtra were also down at 49 for four before wicket keeper batsman Nikhil Naik blitzed his way to an unbeaten 70 off 37 balls, inclusive of 2 sixes and six fours, to help them cross the finish line. Veteran leggie Piyush Chawla picked up 3 for 27 for a losing cause. Maharashtra gained four points.
(With PTI Inputs)