Baroda beat Haryana in a thriller as Solanki hits last-ball six

Baroda will face Punjab in the semi-finals

Vishnu Solanki’s helicopter shot for six off the last ball propelled Baroda into Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy’s semi-finals in a thrilling fashion. Despite leaving things too late, Baroda held their nerve to win the game by the smallest of margins. 

Haryana made Baroda work hard for their target of 149. Although the score was always below par, the bowlers kept Haryana in the game and almost managed to defend it.

Brief scores Baroda 150/2 (Vishnu Solanki 71*, Kedar Devdhar 43; Yuzvendra Chahal 15/1, Sumit Kumar 37/1) beat Karnataka 148/7 (Himanshu Rana 49, Shivam Chauhan 35; Karthik Kakade 7/2, Atit Sheth 27/1) by 8 wickets.

Chasing a tricky 149 on a slow, turning track, Baroda started their innings in solid fashion. The openers kept the required run rate in check without taking any risks. The scoreboard read 33/0 after 5 overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s arrival brought the breakthrough, as he dismissed Smit Patel with a classic leg spinner. The wicket didn’t change how Baroda went about their innings. The team remained content with low-scoring overs as they kept wickets in hand. 

Vishnu Solanki and Kedar Devdhar accelerated after the 10-over mark, as 35 runs came off the next 3 overs. Just when the game looked done and dusted, Sumit Kumar dismissed the Baroda skipper.

Devdhar got pressurized by consecutive dot balls, and his half-hearted attempt to clear the in-field went straight to the fielder. But Vishnu Solanki still kept scoring runs on the other end. 

The batsman reached his 50 in the 17th over, as 29 runs were needed off 18 balls. That soon became 19 off 3 balls after some tight bowling by Haryana.

However, Vishnu Solanki had other ideas. The set batsman took the responsibility of scoring a couple of boundaries, and 6 was needed off the final ball. Solanki saved his best for last, dishing out the helicopter shot to score a six that sent Baroda into the semi-finals. 

The win means Baroda will face Punjab in the semi-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Haryana were pegged back early on after a moment of brilliance from Kedar Devdhar. The skipper hit the stumps from deep as Baroda got a wicket in the 3rd over.

Chaitanya Bishnoi counter-attacked with a couple of sixes but was soon sent packing after he hit one shot too many. But from 25/2, Himanshu Rana and Shivam Chauhan did a stellar rebuilding job, putting together an 80-run stand. 

The duo took their time to settle on a turning track but soon started finding the boundary. But Shivam Chauhan got out, hitting one straight to cover. 

With the foundation set, many would have backed Haryana’s lower order to accelerate in the last 5 overs. But the assault never came, as the batting side kept losing wickets at regular intervals. 

Himanshu Rana fell 1 run short of his 50. Some outstanding fielding at the death helped Baroda restrict Haryana to 148/7.

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