States' Azim claims hat-trick
Naushad, Kedar crack 50s as Maharashtra log huge win
PUNE: It was the script of a different sort for once, but certainly a result that left Maharashtra in glee.
With star batter Ruturaj Gaikwad, for once, not hitting the top as he had with fifties in his first three matches it was Naushad Shaikh and Kedar Jadhav who took on the onus of scoring.
And there was more! Azim Kazi with an all-round performance was the prized show claiming a hat-trick to leave Puducherry dazed and 117 short in an Elite A Round IV Sayed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
The star Maharashtra opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been in red-hot form, fell for just three his team rode on half-centuries by Naushad Shaikh and Kedar Jadhav to post an impressive 193/3 in 20 overs
Naushad (55, 36 balls, 4X4, 3X6) and Kedar Jadhav (52 not out, 39 balls, 6X4, 2X6) tore apart the Puducherry bowling to put Maharashtra in command.
Left-handed batter Azim Kazi, later, smacked 31 from 17 balls (3X4, 2X6) to provide the thrust towards the end.
Faced with a huge target, Pondicherry never appeared to be in the hunt and folded for a mere 76 in 13.5 overs with left-arm spinner Azim Kazi grabbing a hat-trick.
Maharashtra's third win on the trot has taken them, joint leaders, on the points table with Punjab. Both teams have 12 points from 4 matches and are separated by net run rate, with the North team better' placed.