Rinku Singh’s heroics in vain as Uttar Pradesh crash out of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy

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The first quarter-final of the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy saw Uttar Pradesh take on Punjab at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Thursday, November 2. Both sides took on each other, looking for a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament.

The game began with Uttar Pradesh coming in to bat first, and evidently, all eyes were immediately set upon star batter Rinku Singh. After his heroics in the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Rinku has not disappointed with his performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. 

Before his sensational knock against Punjab, Rinku had scored a quickfire 50* runs in 24 deliveries against Tripura, with a knock of 58* runs in 34 deliveries against Nagaland earlier in the tournament as well.

Coming into the first quarterfinal after brilliant showings in previous games, Rinku Singh put forth a brilliant showing against Punjab as well. After the top-order failed to go big, Rinku Singh rose to the occasion and scored 77* runs in just 33 deliveries. Maintaining a strike rate of 233.33, Rinku hit six sixes and four fours in his sensational knock. Alongside Sameer Rizvi, who amassed 42* runs in 29 deliveries, both batters helped UP post a total of 169 runs in the first innings. 

Bowlers fail to cope as Punjab’s middle-order shines

Aiming to chase down a target of 170 runs, Punjab got off to a subpar start to the game as Abhishek Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh, and Mandeep Singh were sent back to the pavilion after they only managed to score 12, 0, and one run, respectively. 

It was the middle order that turned the game around for Punjab. Anmolpreet Singh scored 43 runs in 29 deliveries, Nehal Wadhera amassed 52 runs in 39 deliveries, and with Sanvir Singh adding 35* runs in 13 balls, Punjab managed to chase down the target and win the game by five wickets, knocking Uttar Pradesh out of the tournament.

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