Rishi Dhawan impressed with the ball as Himachal Pradesh overcame Punjab by 13 runs in the first semi-final of the T20 event on Thursday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Take a bow, Himachal Pradesh, and salute Rishi Dhawan and company.
The rise of the fallen.
The fairytale would not end for HP. To say the least, they’ve been incredible. There would have been doubts after their first two games had been rained out. But this bunch at HP knows how to answer any question.
Himachal Pradesh’s dream run in domestic white-ball events continued on Thursday, November 3, when the Vijay Hazare Trophy champions stormed into the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022. Himachal Pradesh defeated Punjab in the tournament’s first semi-final at Eden Gardens.
Himachal Pradesh, who were in the Ranji Trophy Plate Group till 2011-12, stunned Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final last year. HP won their first domestic title, led by Rishi Dhawan, and their good run has continued as they reached the final of the major domestic T20 league.
Following Rishi Dhawan’s three-fer against Punjab in the semis, which was topped by Sushanth Verma’s 25-ball fifty, they defeated Gill’s Punjab to get to the finals.
Himanchal Pradesh’s all round performance powers them past Punjab
Sumeet Verma and Akash Vasisht counter-attacked following an early scare during their 45-run fourth-wicket stand. Sumeet’s 25-ball 51 included three sixes and three boundaries, while Vasisht’s 25-ball 43 included two sixes and four boundaries.
Himachal got a late boost from Pankaj Jaswal, who hammered 27 off 16 balls, while captain Rishi chipped in with a 4-ball 7. Vasisht was the one who stayed until the end overs and did the damage.
In response, India opener Shubman Gill survived a difficult stretch in which Punjab lost Abhishek Sharma and Prabhsimran Singh for 1 and 8, respectively. Gill took his time before embarking on an assault on the Himachal bowling attack. He struck six and six boundaries, but Mayank Dagar nabbed him in the tenth over.
Punjab wanted Anmolpreet to stay and contribute significantly, but he was dismissed in the 15th over for a 25-ball 30.
In the final overs, Ramandeep Singh and captain Mandeep got going. Ramanpdeep smashed two sixes and three boundaries in his 15-ball 29 while their skipper smacked a six and three boundaries and remained unbeaten but was unable to complete the task. Following Rishi Dhawan’s three-fer they triumphed over Shubman’s Punjab to book a place in the finals.
Himachal will face the winner of the 2nd semi-final between Vidarbha and Mumbai. Having already won the Vijay Hazare trophy beating the tournament favorites Tamil Nadu, HP, led by Rishi would be unfazed and we could expect a cracker.