Azharuddeen’s 54-ball 137 secures big win for Kerala | Cricket News

MUMBAI: It was the sort of knock which should make him a hot property in the IPL auction next month. Perhaps, it would have also made his famous namesake, the former India captain, proud, if he was watching it on television.
Unleashing a ferocious attack on the Mumbai bowlers, Mohammed Azharuddeen blasted as many as 11 sixes and nine fours in a magical, unbeaten 54-ball 137 to power Kerala to a thumping eight-wicket win over Mumbai in their Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy game at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday night. During the course of his murderous innings, the 26-year-old galloped to his ton off 37 balls – the fourth fastest T20 century by an Indian batsman.
Azharuddeen’s marauding blade ensured Kerala sprinted to their second win in just 15. 5 overs and put Mumbai, who have lost both their games so far, in serious danger of being knocked out in the league stage even though they are playing on their home turf.
Barring a couple of teams who can sneak in through better NRR, only the group toppers will go through to the next round, and the hosts are currently at the bottom of Group E. To add injury to this ‘insult’ for Mumbai, their captain Suryakumar Yadav seemed to have hurt his hamstring while batting, and didn’t come out to field later.
Unbelievably, before he smashed Kerala’s maiden hundred in this tournament in sensational fashion, all this 26-year-old had managed was a highest score of 47 in T20 cricket, 73 in List A and one solitary hundred in first-class cricket. Prior to Wednesday’s blitzkrieg, his average was 15.70 in T20s, 22.25 in List A and 25.91 in first-class cricket. In 20 T20 games before this, all he had put together was 267 runs!
Mumbai seemed to have gained the upper-hand when they put up 196 for seven after being asked to bat first. But Azharuddeen settled it easily.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 196-7 (Aditya Tare 42, Yashasvi Jaiswal 40, Suryakumar Yadav 38, Shivam Dube 26; Jalaj Saxena 3-34, KM Asif 3-25) lost to Kerala 201-2 in 15.5 overs (Mohammed Azharudddeen 137 not out, Robin Uthappa 33, Sanju Samson 22) by eight wickets.

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