Anmolpreet Singh chose the perfect day to score his maiden T20 century as his 113-run knock helped Punjab clinch its maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title defeating Baroda in the final by 20 runs at the I.S. Bindra stadium here on Monday.
Ninad Rathva (47, 22b, 5×4, 3×6) and Abhimanyusingh Rajput (61, 42b, 3×4, 4×6) kept Baroda in the hunt — helped by some sloppy fielding by Punjab which put down four catches.
However, the fate of the game was sealed in the penultimate over of a thrilling run chase when Arshdeep Singh brought his A-game and picked up three wickets including that of Krunal Pandya (45, 32b 3×4 1×6), Shivalik Sharma and Bhanu Pania.
Despite the dew in the second half, a 224-run target proved beyond Baroda’s reach and Punjab won the title in front of the home crowd.
Earlier, Anmolpreet smacked a 58-ball ton and added 138 for the fourth wicket with Nehal Wadhera, who scored an entertaining 61 (27b, 6×4, 4×6).
Put in, Punjab started badly as Abhishek Sharma was out for a golden duck and Prabhsimran Singh went for nine. Krunal Pandya then sent back Mandeep Singh, who attempted a reverse sweep as the score read 80 for three.
But the Anmolpreet-Nehal partnership was the highlight of the innings in front of a decent turnout that cheered the local favourites.
The Baroda bowlers wavered in their line and lengths as the Punjab duo sent every full toss to the fence — nine sixes and three fours came off the last 21 balls — and got the team to 223 for four in its 20 overs.
Apart from Krunal Pandya, who finished his quota with one for 30, the other bowlers had a forgettable outing.
Punjab 223/4 in 20 overs (Anmolpreet Singh 113, Mandeep Singh 32) bt Baroda 203/7 in 20 overs (Ninad Rathva 47, Abhimanyusingh Rajput 61, Krunal Pandya 45, Arshdeep Singh 4/23). Toss: Baroda.