Mushtaq Ali: Impressive Punjab knocks out defending champion Karnataka, TN beats HP

Punjab eliminated defending Karnataka champion from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with their bowlers staging a comfortable nine-wicket victory in the first quarter-final here on Tuesday.

In the second quarter-final, Tamil Nadu beat Himachal Pradesh by five wickets to seal their place in the semi-final.

The Punjab initially dismissed Karnataka for a meager 87, then revised the target to 12.4 overs in what turned out to be a lopsided game at Sardar Patel Stadium.

Pacers Siddharth Kaul (3/15) and Sandeep Sharma (2/17) crossed the top row of Karnataka after being sent to bat.

Karnataka was in shock at 26 for three, after forerunners Karun Nair (12) and Devdutt Padikkal (11) fell inexpensively.

Pavan Deshpande (0) was ruled out on his second ball as Mayank Markande took a dive catch.

Kaul sent Padikkal and Deshpande back to the fourth.

He quickly grew to 26 for four, as young left arm stimulator Arshdeep Singh (2/16) pushed aside BR Sharath (2), who got caught in the slip cord.

Versatile player Shreyas Gopal (13), who has come to the rescue of Karnataka often, was unable to convert his start as he edged wicket keeper Prabhsimran Singh over point guard Ramandeep Singh (2/22) as Karnataka lost its half-camp for 51.

Ramandeep got his second wicket when he fired J Suchith (8) to leave Karnataka at 72 for six.

Leggie Mayank Markande (1/12) then stepped in as he cleaned up a well-tuned Anirudh Joshi (27). The Punjab continued its domination over its opposition and broke through its lower order.

In response, Punjab lost first opener Abhishek Sharma (4) early but Prabhsimran Singh (49 not out of 37 balls) and Mandeep Singh (35 not out) ensured that the chase was in the park with their undefeated stand of 85. points for the second wicket.

Prabhsimran, who took the apathetic attack from Karnataka, finished the match well with a six.

In the batted evening game, Tamil Nadu first limited Himachal Pradesh to 135/9, then rolled over unbeaten Baba Aparajith 52 to see the target again in 17.5 overs.

Tamil Nadu continued to take wickets at regular intervals as they did not allow opposition drummers to take hold.

HP skipper Rishi Dhawan got the best score with 35 unbeaten from 26 balls. Opener Abhimanyu Rana (28) and Nitin Sharma (26) failed to convert their starts.

For TN, the right arm stimulator Sonu Yadav (3/14) did most of the damage and was ably supported by Sandeep Warrior (2/32), R Sai Kishore (1/27) and Mr. Mohammed (1 / 18).

Continuing, Tamil Nadu lost openers Narayan Jagadeesan (7), C Hari Nishanth (17) and Arun Karthik (0) early and were 25 for 3 at one stage.

Tamil Nadu was in trouble when they slipped to 66 for 5 but Aparajith, who hit three fours and two sixes, and Shahrukh Khan (40 not on 19 balls; 5 × 4, 2 × 6) warded off an undefeated 75- lead the sixth game-winning stand to bring the team home.

Short scores:

Karnataka 87 all out (Aniruddha Joshi 27, Shreyas Gopal 13; Siddharth Kaul 3/15, Arshdeep Singh 2/16) lost to Punjab 89/1 (Prabhsimran Singh 49 not released, Mandeep Singh 35 not released; A Mithun 1 / 11) by 9 counters.

Himachal Pradesh 135/9 (Rishi Dhawan 35 not released, Abhimanyu Rana 28; Sonu Yadav 3/14, Sandeep Warrior 2/32) lost to Tamil Nadu 141/5 (B Aparajith 52 not released, Shahrukh Khan 40 not released; Vaibhav Arora 3/30) by 5 counters.

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