Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Chandigarh tame Manipur by 110 runs | Cricket News

CHANDIGARH: Seasoned left-arm spinners Gurinder Singh and Bipul Sharma were too hot to handle for minnows Manipur, as Chandigarh rode on an all-round effort to open their campaign in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a 110-run victory at TI Murugappa Ground in Chennai on Wednesday.
A couple of days after wet outfield forced the UT boys to split points with Nagaland, Chandigarh came all guns blazing on Wednesday to first put up a strong 178/5, powered by Shivam Bhambri’s classy half century before Gurinder and Bipul shared five wickets between them to restrict the Northeastern side for a paltry 68/8 in their stipulated 20 overs.
After the win, Chandigarh vaulted to the second place in the Plate Group table with six points in their kitty. Bihar retained the top spot after registering their second win on the trot.
With conditions in Chennai favouring batsmen, Chandigarh skipper Manan Vohra had no hesitation in winning the toss and electing to bat. As expected, Manan and rookie opener Sarul Kanwar (14) got the team to a flying start of 47 in the powerplay, before the skipper upped the ante with a 29-ball 39, comprising three hits to the fence and once over it.
With Manan going after the bowlers, one down Shivam also got into the act in no time to match his skipper shot by shot before bringing up a handsome fifty. Shivam, who slammed 56 off 39 balls, laced with four boundaries and three sixes, was engaged in a fruitful 71-run third wicket stand with Ankit Kaushik.
Kaushik, who had missed the week-long preparatory camp in Chandigarh after having tested positive for coronavirus last month, was in an element of his own and fully capitalized on the weak bowling attack of the opposition. He slammed a steady 35-ball 38, comprising a couple of fours and sixes before perishing in the 18th over of the innings.
Shivam, who had already got to his fifty, attempted to accelerate but eventually faltered in the penultimate over, but Jaskaran Singh’s 6-ball 16 ensured Chandigarh to record a challenging score.
For the Manipur side, Bishworjit Konthoujam was the pick of the bowlers, returning with a couple of wickets.
In reply, Manipur were off to a woeful start, losing their first seven wickets with just 26 runs on the board. None of their top seven could even the double figures, while two even failed to open their accounts.
Bipul Sharma started the proceedings from the Chandigarh side, and almost immediately packed back the opening duo of Karnajit Yumnam (7) and Prafullomani Singh for a duck.
From the other end, pacer Jaskaran Singh also started building pressure by trapping one down Narisingh Yadav for a duck before Gurinder joined the party to trigger the collapse with three quick wickets. Gurinder accounted for the wickets of Langlonyamba Meitan Keishangbam (6), Nitesh Sedai (6) and captain Rex Rajkumar (2).
Towards the end, Kishan Singha (20 not out) and Kishan Thokchom (22) got the starts but had hardly any overs left to even raise hopes of a comeback, before being restricted to 68 for 8.

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