Himachal Pradesh beat Punjab to enter Syed Mushtaq Ali final

Sumit Verma’s half-century and Rishi Dhawan’s three-wicket haul helped Himachal Pradesh continue their scintillating momentum as they stormed into the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a 13-run win over Punjab here on Thursday. When invited to bat, Sumit hit three fours and as many sixes in his 25-ball 51 while Akash Vashisht hit 43 off 24 balls, which included four fours and two sixes. With this, the Himachal Pradesh team scored 176 runs for seven wickets.

In reply, Shubman Gill scored 45 runs in 32 balls in the top order while Anmol Preet Singh (30 runs), Mandeep Singh (29 runs) and Ramandeep Singh (29 runs) did their best to take their team to the target but this effort Wasn’t enough. Due to this, the team of Punjab could score only 163 runs for seven wickets in 20 overs. In this, Dhawan’s bowling played an important role for Himachal, who took the wickets of openers Abhishek Verma (01), Pukhraj Mann (10) and Ramandeep for 25 runs. Mayank Dagar (2/27), Kanwar Abhinay Singh (1/27) and Akash Vashisht (1/8) also took wickets.

Himachal Pradesh, the winners of the 2021-22 Vijay Hazare Trophy, lost two wickets for 32 runs in the powerplay. But Sumit and Akash scored 45 runs in 23 balls to take the team to the score of 100 runs. Sumit became the victim of Sanvir Singh in the 13th over while Akash played responsibly, sharing a 27-ball 47 with Pankaj Jaiswal (27 runs, 16 balls, two fours, one six) to take the team to a competitive score. Punjab got off to a good start by Gill, who hit seven fours and a six during his innings.

But after his return to the pavilion, Punjab lost three wickets for 61 runs in the 10th over. Anmolpreet tried his best to take the team to the target but by the time he got into the rhythm, half of the Punjab team had reached the pavilion for 103 runs in the 15th over. Captain Mandeep and Ramandeep created a 38-run partnership but it was too late.

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