Sheldon Jackson (106 not out, 50b, 7×4, 8×6) and Paras Dogra (51, 18g, 2×4, 6×6) justified the professional label to help Pondicherry pursue a record goal of 227 set by Andhra in a match Group E draw of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Mumbai on Friday.
Dogra got the race on track, dominating the 98-innings partnership with Jackson for the third wicket before being brilliantly caught by Ashwin Hebber at the long-time limit.
Jackson then took over and made sure Pondicherry opened the count by crossing the gargantuan target with four balls in reserve and scoring his hundredth T20.
HIGHLIGHTS | Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy Highlights: Sheldon Jackson crushes 49 100 balls as Pondicherry scores historic victory
Pondicherry therefore recorded the most successful pursuit race in the history of the national T20 tournament. Earlier today, Kerala set a record scoring 218-4, chasing 212. But the records were broken within hours.
With Andhra hitting three times in three passes when Ashith Rajiv joined Jackson at the crease, Pondicherry was in danger of missing the mark.
But with 32 required out of 14 bullets, Jackson took a calculated risk against left arm pacemaker C. Stephen to reduce the target to 22 out of 12.
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In the sequel, Ashith’s twin borders off the KV Sasikanth brought Pondicherry in sight of victory. And Jackson then ensured that the decision of Andhra skipper Ambati Rayudu to throw the ball to the SK Ismail leggy for the final backfired with a straight six that brought his 100 practice on the covers. .
Jackson’s effort eclipsed Andhra’s stupendous effort to rack up 226 for four after being inserted at bat first at Wankhede Stadium. The stars of the night for Andhra were opener KS Bharat (62, 34b, 4×4, 5×6) and Rayudu (62 not released, 26b, 5×4, 5×6).
Rayudu broke away to death to help Andhra comfortably cross the 200-run mark. But in the end, Jackson made sure it wasn’t enough.
Elite E (Mumbai): Delhi 212/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 77, Lalit Yadav 52 no) lost to Kerala 218/4 in 19 overs (Robin Uthappa 91, Vishnu Vinod 71 no).
Mumbai 143 in 19.3 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 35, Sarfaraz Khan 30, Atharva Ankolekar 37, Arun Chaprana 3/22, Jayant Yadav 4/22) lost to Haryana 144/2 in 17.4 overs (Himanshu Rana 75 no, Shivam Chauhan 43 no).
Andhra 226/4 in 20 overs (Ashwin Hebbar 45, Srikar Bharat 62, Ambati Rayudu 62 not released, Prasanth Kumar 32) lost to Pondicherry 228/6 in 19.2 overs (Sheldon Jackson 106 not released, Paras Dogra 51, Harishankar Reddy 3/35).
Elite D (Indore): Madhya Pradesh 136/9 in 20 overs (Rajat Patidar 50, Rakesh Thakur 32, Yash Thakur 3/25) bt Vidarbha 115/9 in 20 overs (Avesh Khan 5/17).
Serves 133/9 in 20 overs (Lakhan Singh 44, Ravi Bishnoi 4/15) lost to Rajasthan 134/4 in 17.3 overs (Ankit Lamba 51, Rajesh Bishnoi 45).
Saurashtra 215/5 in 20 overs (Avi Barot 122, Samarth Vyas 41) bt Goa 125 in 18.4 overs (Eknath Kerkar 32, Jaydev Unadkat 3/28, Chirag Jani 3/24).
Plate (Chennai): Meghalaya 89/9 in 20 overs (Anuj Raj 3/15) lost to Bihar 92/4 in 16 overs (Shasheem Rathour 33, Sakibul Gani 31 no).
Chandigarh 200/3 in 20 overs (Manan Vohra 85, Shivam Bhambri 62, Ankit Kaushik 36 not released) bt Mizoram 111/6 in 20 overs (Gaurav Gambhir 3/11).
Nagaland 176/4 in 20 overs (Rongsen Jonathan 56, Shrikant Mundhe 54, Stuart Binny 30) bt Sikkim 76 in 14.2 overs (Anureet Singh 41, Khrievitso Kense 3/27).
Manipur 149/8 in 20 overs (Akhilesh Sahani 3/30, Techi Doria 3/29) by Arunachal Pradesh 104 in 19.4 overs.