Hyderabad: Hyderabad started their Syed Mushaq Ali Trophy campaign on a wrong foot losing their opening match to Puducherry by three runs at the Airforce Complex Ground, Palam II in New Delhi on Thursday.
After restricting Puducherry to 159/6 in stipulated 20 overs, Hyderabad needed eight runs off the last over with opener Akshath Reddy and CV Milind at the crease. However, they lost Milind and Mohammad Siraj off fourth and fifth ball to fall short of the target.
Earlier, winning the toss, Hyderabad captain Ambati Rayudu chose to field. Siraj provided the breakthrough in the second over itself dismissing opener S Karthik in the second over while Mehdi Hasan castled Thalaivan Sargunam in the sixth over as Puducherry managed 39 runs in six overs. But PK Dogra smashed a 48-ball 89-run knock that comprised of seven boundaries and six sixes to boost the total.
Chasing the modest target, Hyderabad got off to a solid start with Tanmay Agawal (31 off 19; 4×4, 1×6) and Akshath Reddy (69 not out; 51 balls; 5×4, 1×6) adding 66 runs in 6.4 overs before the former departed. However, the batting order with the likes of Rohit Rayudu, Ambati Rayudu, Ashish Reddy, K Sumanth, lost their way. Needing eight runs off the last over, Akshath took a single to go to non-striker end and he stayed there to see his team lose the match. They lost four wickets in last two overs. Hyderabad will face Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
In other matches, skipper Mahipal Lomror with a strokeful unbeaten 78 (52 balls, 6X4, 4X6) starred in Rajasthan’s emphatic 53-run win over Tamil Nadu in a Group ‘B’ match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament, which began here Thursday.
Sent into bat, Rajasthan recovered well from 7 for 2 to post a score of 181 for 4 in 20 overs with Lomror leading the way and handy contributions from T N Dhillon (38, 19 balls, 1X4, 4X6), Aditya N Garhwal (30, 21 balls, 4X4, 1X6) and Chetan Bist (28).
In reply, Tamil Nadu was bowled out for 128 in the final over.
M S Washington Sundar, coming back from injury, got M N Singh (1) off the final ball of the first over as Tamil Nadu got off to a good start.
Four balls later, the experienced Robin Bist bowled the Abhishek Tanwar for a duck as Rajasthan slipped to 7 for 2.
The left-handed Lomror, who walked in at the fall of Robin Bist, went about steadying the ship and played shots whenever he got the chance to.
First, he was involved in a 42-run stand with Garhwal, before the latter fell to leg-spinner M Ashwin.
Tamil Nadu skipper Ravichandran Ashwin kept the batsmen in check with his clever variations but went wicketless, conceding 26 runs in his quota of four overs.
Lomror put on 51 runs with Chetan Bist and his 81-run association with Dhillon for the fifth wicket, made things difficult for Tamil Nadu.
The skipper and his partner (Dhillon) went on the offensive, blasting 81 runs in the last 5.4 overs as the TN bowlers bore the brunt.
Lomror hammered four sixes as did Dhillon to power Rajasthan to a formidable total.
Chasing a stiff target for victory, Tamil Nadu lost newcomer C Hari Nishaanth for 6 with the score at 18.
Wickets fell at regular intervals as Rajasthan bowlers led by Deepak Chahar (3 for 30) and S K K Ahmed (3 for 14) never allowed the Tamil Nadu batsmen to get going.
Young Shahrukh Khan with 21 (19 balls, 2X4, 1X6) was the top-scorer as the team collapsed to 128 all out in 19.5 overs.
In other matches, Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha beat Himachal Pradesh by three wickets and Gujarat defeated Meghalaya by 13 runs.