SMAT 2023, Final: In a thrilling showdown at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Monday, November 6, Punjab clinched their first-ever Syed Mushtaq Ali title by defeating two-time champions Baroda by a margin of 20 runs. An exceptional century by Anmolpreet Singh, who scored 113 runs off just 61 balls, proved to be the match-winner for Punjab, in sports news cricket.
Baroda’s decision to field first and take advantage of the dew factor for the evening chase didn’t pan out as expected, as Anmolpreet took control of the match and launched a ferocious assault on the Baroda bowlers.
Facing only the second ball of the match after opener Abhishek Sharma was dismissed for a golden duck, Anmolpreet demonstrated remarkable composure. Punjab faced another setback when opener Prabhsimran Singh was dismissed by Atit Sheth after scoring just 9 runs.
However, the early wickets didn’t deter Anmolpreet, who went on to launch a blistering attack against Baroda, orchestrating a remarkable recovery. He initially formed a crucial 62-run partnership for the third wicket with skipper Mandeep Singh. After Mandeep’s departure in the 11th over, Anmolpreet teamed up with Nehal Wadhera, and together, they accumulated 138 runs for the fourth wicket, propelling Punjab to a formidable total of 223 runs for the loss of four wickets.
Wadhera played a crucial role in boosting Punjab’s innings, contributing an explosive 61 not out from just 27 balls, featuring six fours and four sixes.
SMAT 2023, Final: Arshdeep Singh’s Crucial Three-Wicket Over Takes Punjab Over the Line
In reply, Baroda fought valiantly, with strong performances from Ninad Rathva (47 off 22), Abhimanyusingh Rajput (61 off 42), and captain Krunal Pandya (45 off 32). However, despite their efforts, they fell short of the target.
The match was finely balanced until the 18th over of Baroda’s chase, with 33 runs needed from the final 12 deliveries. However, a sensational over by Arshdeep Singh, which included three consecutive wickets (Krunal, Shivalik Sharma, and Bhanu Pania), tilted the game decisively in Punjab’s favor. Arshdeep’s experience and skill were on full display, as he disrupted Baroda’s run chase in the penultimate over and secured the victory for Punjab.
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