Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019: Cheteshwar Pujara Slams 61-Ball Unbeaten Ton
With the kick off of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 on February 21 (Thursday), Cheteshwar Pujara played a breezy knock of 61-ball unbeaten hundred against Anureet Singh-led Railways in the first round of the Twenty20 tourney. His quickfire knock has taken many by surprise with his dazzling batting show in Indore.
To talk about Saurashtra’s backbone Pujara, he not only rotated the strike but went on to found the boundary most of the occasions with his exquisite stroke making.
Interestingly, it happened to be the first-ever hundred in his T20 career. He smashed first half-century off 29 balls before recording second fifty in 32 deliveries.
Also, the 31-year-old Pujara went on to achieve a feat to become the first batsman for Saurashtra to register a ton in the T20 leg.
Well, on the back of his incredible form in the Test fold, Pujara knows what it takes to knock down the opposition. Perhaps, this is the new way of Pujara to prove his credentials in the T20 format after being ignored in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In overall, 58 T20s Pujara has amassed 1096 runs at an average of 25.48. He has further attributed it with six fifties.
While making the headlines, Pujara further powered Saurashtra to post 188 for three on board in 20 allotted overs.
Anureet, Amit Mishra and Ashish Yadav managed to bag wicket apiece.
During his high-quality knock, Pujara slammed 14 fours and a solitary six. Pujara’s strike-rate read as 163.93 which is a rare sight when Pujara is playing in the middle.
The right-handed top-order batsman Pujara has grabbed the eyeballs with his rarely relied hard-hitting prowess.
However, he has given back it to the critics by playing according to the requirement in the shortest version of the game.
Earlier, in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy fixture, Railways decided to bowl first. Saurashtra saw wicketkeeper-batsman Harvik Desai opening the innings with Pujara. The duo post 85 runs for the first wicket in 8.5 overs.
Besides, Desai returns to the pavilion after scoring 24-ball 34. Moreover, Robin Uthappa walked in to keep the scoreboard ticking with odd boundaries.
For the second wicket alongside Uthappa, Pujara post 82 crucial runs for Saurashtra. Uthappa smashed 31-ball 46 with the help of five fours and two maximums.
Sheldon Jackson got dismissed on two off three balls by Anureet before Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat remained unbeaten on one.
In response, Saurashtra had a solid start as they are aiming to record their first win. But Saurashtra bowlers have also stemmed the run flow in between. With wickets in hand, it is expected to go down the wire.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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