Manish Pandey’s 54-ball 129, the main highlight as we find the top 3 knocks of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20.
The 11th edition of India’s premier domestic T20 competition, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2019-20 witnessed the defending champions, Karnataka outclassing their South-Indian rivals, Tamil Nadu by 1 run in the summit clash.
This was Karnataka’s third Trophy win of 2019; thus making them the only team to have won three trophies in a single calendar year. They had previously won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2018-19 and the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019.
The key difference between the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20 and the previous editions of the tournament was the timeline. With the focus on IPL 2020, the tournament was conducted just before the IPL 2020 Auction unlike previous editions.
For the established players and cricketers on the fringes of the Indian Team, and with the World T20 scheduled next year, SMAT 2019-20 was the perfect opportunity to prepare themselves for the event.
In view of this, SMAT 2019-20 played host to many entertaining games, dominated equally by both the bat and the ball. However, the batsmen were yet again at the center of a few breathtaking performances on the field.
On that note, we have listed down the Top 3 knocks of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019, all of which can go down as one of the best in India’s domestic cricket history.
As always, we have analyzed the top batting knocks on the basis of the batting points calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as runs scored, acceleration bonus, relative strike rate and runs bonus, number of fours, number of sixes, number of good knocks, match-winning knock points, and the player of the match points.
To leave out the biases and perception, we have kept the things simple by comparing the overall batting points of all the knocks to find out the Top 3 knocks of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20.
#3: Shivam Bhambri’s 106(57) vs Himachal Pradesh
Score: 106(57) | 4s: 11 | 6s: 7
Strike Rate: 186 | Batting Points: 224.40
SMAT 2019-20 did not take too long to produce a blistering batting performance on the field. The opening fixture of the tournament, between Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh, saw a memorable knock by the youngster, Shivam Bhambri.
Bhambri set the tone right for the competition with an explosive knock under the overcast clouds. He struck 11 fours and 7 sixes en-route to his century, all of which consumed only 57 balls from Chandigarh’s 20-over quota.
Batting first, Chandigarh lost their Captain, Manan Vohra’s quite early. Shivam Bhambri, however, weaved a beautiful partnership with Amit Parashar to stabilize the proceedings for his team. He did play some beautiful shots throughout the innings, but made sure there were no undue risks in them.
Courtesy to his knock, Chandigarh scored 167/5 in their 20 overs. While the score looked underwhelming, it was enough for them to beat HP by 8 runs in the rain-marred encounter.
#2: Devdutt Padikkal’s 122(60) vs Andhra Pradesh
Score: 122(60) | 4s: 13 | 6s: 7
Strike Rate: 203.3 | Batting Points: 248.79
Devdutt Padikkal is the latest batting prodigy to make his presence felt across the country. The 19-year-old opener enjoyed a fantastic Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he finished as the leading run-scorer and also helped his team clinch the title.
As a follow up to the performance in the 50-over format, Padikkal truly announced himself with a spectacular show in SMAT 2019, where he once again finished as the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 580 runs.
Coming to the knock, Karnataka, who were chasing a stiff target of 185 saw both their openers falling with just 7 runs on board. Krishnappa Gowtham, who was sent in at no.3 to execute a counter-attack did play well, but the day truly belonged to the young, Devdutt Padikkal.
Padikkal smashed the Andhra bowlers all around the park with 13 boundaries and 7 sixes to bring up his maiden T20 century. While wickets were tumbling around him consistently, none of it affected the fearless attitude of the teenager.
He took on the responsibility to go after each bowler, and relied heavily on his gifted ability to time the ball sweetly. He picked the gaps to perfection, and never erred in his judgment during the knock.
In the end, Karnataka chased down the target with 7 balls remaining, a feat that was deemed unimaginable at the start.
#1: Manish Pandey’s 129(54) vs Services
Score: 129*(54) | 4s: 12 | 6s: 10
Strike Rate: 238.9 | Batting Points: 271.17
In the last couple of months, Manish Pandey has shown brilliant form in domestic competitions. He has notched up big scores in every opportunity that he has got, in effect, allowing himself to be a consistent part of the Indian Team.
Manish’s latest exhibition was the highest score of the tournament, which he scored against Services in the recently concluded SMAT 2019. At a strike rate of 238.9, Manish Pandey smashed an unbeaten 129*(54).
The Karnataka captain’s approach was straightforward in this innings. The Services bowling attack was inexperienced, and Manish took the full purchase of this. He never looked uncomfortable on the pitch as every ball met the middle of his bat.
Overall, Manish’s knock included 12 boundaries and 10 sixes. He helped Karnataka post a huge total of 250, which was almost an unachievable target for Services. It eventually showed as Karnataka won the game by 80 runs.
While these three were certain the top knocks of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20, the other knocks that created the buzz were Suryakumar Yadav’s 94(53), Devdutt Padikkal’s 87(42), Harshal Patel’s 82(40), Harpreet Singh’s 88(46), etc.