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Patel spins a web

Calcutta: Jharkhand needed nine runs in the last over to edge past Odisha. But spinner Paresh Patel had other ideas, taking three wickets in the last over to ensure Odisha returned with four well-earned points, winning by four runs in a East Zone match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 Tournament at the Eden on Friday.

With Bengal firmly establishing their top position in the Zone with a win against Tripura on Friday, Odisha, Assam and Jharkhand will have to wait for the outcome of Saturday’s matches to know who else will go through to the Super League round of the tournament. Tripura, having lost all three of their matches so far, don’t really stand a chance.

Electing to bat, Odisha managed to score 119/8 and it did not really seem to be a target that would be unsurpassable. However, Jharkhand lost the plot in about the last two overs to return empty handed. They were restricted to 115/6 in their 20 overs, thanks largely to the brilliant last over.

Odisha lost wickets at regular intervals with Sarfaraz Ashraf proving to be their nightmare. The young off-spinner five-wicket haul was the highpoint of the Jharkhand attack. And he could have been the hero had Patel not stolen the thunder in the very last over of the day. The dream over got the Odisha spinner three wickets, giving away just four runs, and wiped away Jharkhand’s chance of a victory.

Basant Mohanty, the Odisha pacer, might not have got any wickets on the day, but his tidy spell of 4-1-11-0 did help in restricting the Jharkhand batsmen, and proved crucial to the win.

And then it was all about Patel. He sent back Virat (40 off 45 balls, 2x4, 1x6), Deobrat (39 off 31, 3x4 and 1x6) and Ashraf. Ashraf, the hero with the ball, failed to even open his account.

Jharkhand captain Saurabh Tiwary needs to take a long hard look at his own performance.

Brief scores

Odisha 119/8 in 20 overs (N. Behera 23; S. Ashraf 5/25). Jharkhand 115/6 in 20 overs (V. Singh 40; P. Patel 3/22). Odisha win by four runs.