Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Azharuddeen 137 of just 54 balls stuns fancied Mumbai, Kerala registers 2nd consecutive win

Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Kerala stuns Mumbai: Mohammed Azharuddeen (137 of just 54 balls) played one of the great T20 knocks in domestic cricket to power Kerala to a stunning eight-wicket victory over Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at the Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

It was the first ever victory for Kerala over Mumbai in any form of cricket at the senior level. The 26-year-old opener, named after the stylish former India batsman Mohammed Azharuddin, made an unbeaten 137 of just 54 balls (9×4, 11×6) to make light of what appeared a stiff target of 197. He put on 129 for the first wicket with Robin Uthappa (33, 23b, 4×4) in 57 balls.

Uthappa was content to play the second fiddle while Azharuddeen unleashed an array of gorgeously-timed graceful shots all around the park. By the time Uthappa fell lbw to left-arm spinner Shams Mulani, the game had slipped away from Mumbai. Captain Sanju Samson joined Azharuddeen but was caught behind off Tushar Deshpande when just seven runs were required.

Fittingly, Azharuddeen played the winning shot, a huge six over mid-wicket off Siddhesh Lad. Earlier, Mumbai, after being put in, was served well by its top-order, which had crumbled against Delhi in the first match. Yashasvi Jaiswal (40, 32b, 4×4, 2×6) and Aditya Tare (42, 31b, 4×4, 1×6) put on 88 for the opening wicket. Skipper Suryakumar Yadav (38, 19b, 4×4, 2×6) was delectable as usual.

Earlier in the day, Meghalaya captain Puneet Bisht hit an undefeated 51-ball 146 in the 1st innings of Wednesday’s Plate Group game against Mizoram. The wicketkeeper-batsman hit 17 sixes and 6 boundaries in reaching the 2nd highest T20 score by an Indian. Meghalaya posted a total of 230/6 at the end of 20 overs and won the game by a margin of 130 after Mizoram managed 100/9.

On the same day of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy, January 13, the records for the 2nd highest and the 3rd highest T20 score by an Indian were broken.