PANAJI: Divyang Hinganekar’s man-of-the match performance was the highlight of the day as Dempo Cricket Club beat Salgaocar Cricket Club by four wickets and also booked their semi-final spot in Panjim Gymkhana’s Bandodkar T20 League, here on Thursday.
The second match of the day had to be abandoned due to rains when Chowgule were 109/5 in 14 overs after electing to bat against Karimabad SC. Atharva Kale once again looked in great touch as he scored 46 runs of 31 balls. His knock was studded with nine boundaries before he was bowled by Balpreet Singh Chadha. After a little while, a drizzle started and it got harder for play to be interrupted and abandoned.
Both the teams in Group B, had already booked their spot in the semifinals after winning their opener against Alcon MCC, who happened to be the only team in the league to lose both their matches and bow out early. One point each was awarded to Karimabad and Chowgule, who top the Group B.
The semi-finals will see Salgaocar Cricket Club take on Karimabad Sports Club while Chowgule Sports Club will clash with Dempo Cricket Club on Friday when the knockout stage takes the centrestage.
The day, however, began with the big point of interest being the possibility of Group A turning into a ‘group of death’ as all three teams including Geno Sports Club could finish with one win each in the league stage. And that is exactly what happened. Salgaocar topped the group despite the loss today. Dempo, with second-best net run-rate, occupied the second position and made it to the last four-stage, while Geno SC missed out.
Faced with a modest target of 123, Dempo had to chase it down inside 19.1 overs to lift their run rate to meet the requirement of a semi-final spot. But, the formidable outfit led by Snehal Kauthankar were shaky to say the least. The third-wicket stand of 51 between Snehal (28) and Azeem Kazi (27), had provided the impetus, but Dempo lost four wickets thereafter in the span of 16 runs to make heavy weather of the chase on another cloudy day with slight drizzle coming down intermittently.
Divyang, who had earlier bowled a fine spell of four overs for a return of 2/25 by the left-arm pacer, provided the late burst with the bat and siezed the initiative. The tall right-hand batter hit Salgaocar’s outstation recruit from Mumbai – Sujit Nayak for a sixer and a four on back-to-back deliveries in the 19th over, to take Dempo onto the verge of victory. Another couple with a well-placed shot by Divyang, was then enough for Dempo to reach the target of 123 in 18.4 overs. Divyang remained not out on 29 off 14 balls and was named man of the match. He combined with Yogesh Kauthankar (14 not out) for a valuable unbroken 7th-wicket partnership of 46 runs.
For Salgaocar, left-arm spinner Sagar Mishra bowled impressively picking up three wickets for 14. Shubham Tari, Samit Aryan Mishra and Devdatt Chodankar took one wicket each.
Earlier put into bat, Salgaocar could only manage to post a total of 122/8. It was a similar story in the batting department, with batters being unable to convert their starts into notable scores. Sujit Nayak with 24, was the top-scorer while Vaibhav Naik remained unbeaten on 22 off 19 balls to provide a semblance of late flourish to take the team’s total to respectability. A stand of 25 runs for the fourth wicket, between Yash Porob (19) and Sagar Mishra (14), was the highest partnership of Salgaocar innings.
Dempo bowlers Harshad Gadekar, Azeem Kazi, Malik Sirur and Jagdish Patil took one wicket each apart from Divyang’s superlative display with the ball. Divyang was presented the man of the match award by Panjim Gymkhana joint-treasurer Narahar Thakur.