Jharkhand and Delhi Saturday qualified for the Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 cricket tournament from Group 'A' with comfortable wins here over Kerala and Nagaland respectively. Jharkhand overhauled Kerala's score of 176 for 6 in the final over when former India ODI cricketer Saurabh Tiwary smashed a six over covers off Sandeep Warrier. Kerala made an exit following today's loss. In the other match, Delhi restricted Nagaland to 118 and romped home in 12.3 overs, thanks to Hiten Dalal's 8, but was unable to pip Jharkhand on net run-rate after both teams finished on 20 points.
Kerala captain Sachin Baby won the toss and chose to bat in a virtual shoot-out for a spot in the super league and the openers-Vishnu Vinod (27, 20 balls, 4X4) and Rohan Kunnummal provided a good start. India discards Varun Aaron proved expensive, spraying the ball around and was tonked for 35 runs in 3 overs. Vinod fell to the impressive Vikash Singh, edging one to keeper Ishan Kishan.
Rohan, meanwhile, was not afraid to go for the big hits and smashed three sixes and the captain was also able to find the boundary. The fall of Rohan brought Vinoop Manoharan to the crease and with Baby, he was involved in a fruitful 61-run stand in seven overs. Baby and Manoharan went for their shots and also ran well between the wickets.
The dismissals of Baby (36, 3X4, 1X6) and Manoharan in the space of two overs pegged Kerala back. After Mohammed Azharudeen (8) and KB Arun Karthik fell in quick succession, left-hander Salman Nazir with his big blows was able to provide the impetus and take the score to 176.
In reply, Jharkhand lost captain Ishan Kishan (1) in the third over, but the aggressive Anand Singh and southpaw Virat Singh took the attack to the Kerala bowlers. The two were particularly severe on M D Nidheesh and Vinoop Manoharan and provided a good platform for Jharkhand.
The experienced Tiwary, renowned for his big hitting, clobbered five sixes in his 24-ball 50 to see the team, despite a mild wobble which saw Ishank Jaggi and Kumar Deobratfall for ducks. In the Delhi-Nagaland encounter, Subodh Bhati's four-wicket haul helped the former bowl out its rival for 118. Dalal's power-packed knock ensured that Delhi coasted to victory.