Ruturaj Gaikwad bats out Punjab

Maharashtra register their first win in Group-A

Ruturaj Gaikwad bats out Punjab
Ruturaj Gaikwad (80)

PUNE: Stylish batter Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his impressive run in the shortest format with a strokeful 80 to power Maharashtra to a seven-wicket win against Punjab in a Round II - Elite Group A, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy encounter at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.

Chasing 138 for victory, Ruturaj smacked eight fours and three sixes in his 54-ball knock to help Maharashtra post its first victory.

He had also hit a half-century on Thursday against Tamil Nadu, which the team lost by 12 runs.

The early dismissal of fellow opener Yash Nahar for a duck in the second over did not deter Gaikwad as he batted aggressively to neutralise the Punjab attack which included Arshdeep Singh, Siddarth Kaul, Harpreet Brar and Abhishek Sharma.

Gaikwad, who reached his 50 from 36 balls, hit leggie Mayank Markande for a big six and then hoisted Brar for another maximum.

He also played some elegant shots on either side of the wicket during his impressive innings as Maharashtra shut out Punjab.

Earlier, Shubman Gill stroked his way to 44 off 39 balls (3x4, 1x6) but the other Punjab batters failed to get going. The innings appeared to be struggling for momentum before Gurkeerat Singh Mann (41; 32 balls) helped them recover and post a total of 137 in the 20 overs.

For Maharashtra, left-arm medium-pacer Divyang Himganekar was the best bowler with 2/17 in four overs while A Palkar took 2/30.