Champions Delhi Choke In The Tournament-opener; Iyer, Pujara Hit Tons > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Champions Delhi choke in tournament opener; Iyer, Pujara hit tons

Iyer made 147 off just 55 balls.

The first day of the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy saw plenty of action, enthralling performances and also a few surprises. The usual suspects produced the goods while new heroes also emerged to cap a satisfying opening day for India's premier domestic T20 tournament.

Best batting performances

Shreyas Iyer's clean ball-striking skills is well-documented and the Mumbai batsman showed it once again by dismantling a listless Sikkim attack to conjure a 55-ball 147 that had 15 sixes in it. In the process, he set the record for most sixes and highest individual score by an Indian in a T20 innings as Mumbai strolled past Sikkim with a gigantic win.

Cheteshwar Pujara, known for his red-ball exploits, stroked his first ever T20 hundred against Railways, also carrying his bat in the process. His efforts weren't enough though, as the opponents chased down the target in a last-over finish. In comparison to Iyer's century, Pujara's knock was more risk-free but effective nevertheless.

Manish Pandey shone for Karnataka with a fluent 39-ball 74 that propelled Karnataka to a competitive total that proved to be too many for Assam in the end. On a not so straightforward pitch, he first dropped anchor to hold the innings together before unleashing his power at the end.

Paras Dogra's brilliant 48-ball 89 was arguably the best of the lot, considering the side he plays for and the opposition he had to deal with. His heroics gave Puducherry a competitive total that they were able to defend, thereby upsetting the Hyderabad outfit in a nail-biting finish. T.Parandavan derailed the chase with a four-wicket haul.

Best bowling performances

Shahbaz Nadeem's spell of 2-26 was instrumental in Jharkhand's narrow win over Delhi. He managed to keep a lid on the scoring rate and picked two scalps too. The other hero, an unsung one, was Monu Kumar who returned figures of 1-20, including bowling the 20th over in which the batting side needed eight runs. He ended up conceding only four.

Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed snared three-wicket hauls apiece to help Rajasthan destroy Tamil Nadu by 53 runs in what can be considered another big upset of the day. Chasing 182 to win, Tamil Nadu were never really in the contest and eventually fell way short.

Pradipta Pramanik and Prayas Barman shared seven wickets between them as Bengal routed Mizoram by a whopping margin of 159 runs. After Abhimanyu Easwaran's century pushed Bengal to a daunting total, Mizoram crashed severely, losing their last seven wickets for seven runs to suffer a humiliating defeat.

Surprising results and performances

Apart from Rajasthan thumping Tamil Nadu and Puducherry pipping Hyderabad, the other major surprise of the day featured defending champions Delhi who went down to Jharkhand in a run chase that seemed to be in control. A rather inexperienced Maharashtra outfit beat Uttar Pradesh in a low-scoring encounter. Samarth Singh's valiant 93 wasn't enough as UP fell short of the target of 150 by 12 runs.

Madhya Pradesh's Parth Sahani stroked an enterprising 50-ball 90 which was the fulcrum of the team's total of 199 against Punjab who eventually fell well short by 34 runs. It was a big win for MP, considering the experience and firepower in Punjab's batting.

Chhattisgarh's 10-wicket thrashing of Odisha was a pleasantly clinical performance. After a collective bowling performance had restricted the opposition to 137, Chhattisgarsh's openers Rishabh Tiwari and Shashank Chandraker slammed unbeaten fifties to finish the game with just under four overs left.

Stronger teams Vidarbha and Gujarat had to stretch a bit in their wins over Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya respectively. The Ranji Trophy champions in particular got across the line in a last-ball finish.

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