Shreyas Iyer’s blazing form will be some sort of an assurance for his franchise Delhi Daredevils as his quickfire unbeaten 79 off 49 balls helped Mumbai beat Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat by 5 wickets in a West Zone leg game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Monday.While it can’t be termed as a revenge for the Ranji champions, Iyer will be feeling happy having hit six fours and four huge sixes with Mumbai chasing down a modest target of 132 in only 18.2 overs.Senior pro Ajinkya Rahane (25) however looked rusty during the opening stand of 42. Rahane in fact played 30 balls and found it difficult to rotate the strike.None of the Mumbai batsmen save Shivam Dubey (10) got to double figures but it was not needed as Shreyas was hitting the Gujarat bowlers out of the park.Seamer Chintan Gaja (0/20 in 2 overs) and off-spinner Rujul Bhatt (2/32 in 4 overs) got some special treatment from the talented right-hander.Earlier, 45-year-old IPL specialist Pravin Tambe (2/19 in 4 overs), easily the oldest active cricketer in Indian domestic circuit currently, warmed up nicely for the big event. Seamer Prathamesh Dake (2/13) was the other successful bowler as Mumbai restricted Gujarat to 131/9.Summarised Scores:Gujarat: 131/9 (Rujul Bhatt 47, Pravin Tambe 2/19)Mumbai: 133/5 in 18.2 overs (Shreyas Iyer 79 no). Mumbai win by 5 wickets.PUNJAB SNEAK PAST DELHIPunjab beat Delhi by two wickets in a North Zone leg match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament with senior players like Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan flopping badly.Batting first, Delhi scored 103 for 9 in 20 overs while Punjab reached the target losing 8 wickets in 19.2 overs. Both teams have now won one and lost one match.advertisementGautam Gambhir’s (5) inability against moving deliveries was once again exposed as he edged Manpreet Gony delivery to Jaskaranveer Singh behind the stumps. Dhawan was also caught by Gurkeerat Singh off Gony’s bowling.Gony emerged (3/26 in 4 overs) as the pick of bowlers while Sandeep Sharma (2/16) was equally economical.Skipper Harbhajan Singh 1/14 in 4 overs kept it tight as the hard-hitting Nitish Rana (15) was caught by glovesman Jaskaranveer trying to play the cut.In reply, Punjab kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but managed to cross the line with four balls to spare.Anmolpreet Singh (28) and Sharad Lumba (36) were the main contributors.Summarised Scores:Delhi: 103/9 in 20 overs (Gautam Gambhir 5, Shikhar Dhawan 2, Manpreet Gony 3/26, Harbhajan Singh 1/14)Punjab: 106/8 in 19.2 overs (Sharad Lumba 36, Anmolpreet Singh 28). Punjab won by 2 wickets
After a cracking debut for Sussex in the English county, Ishant Sharma continued his rich form and this time brought his all-rounder skills into play.On Day two of Sussex’s match against Leicestershire, Ishant scored his maiden first-class fifty and then came back to pick two wickets.During Sessex’s innings, Ishant stitched a 153-run partnership with Michael Burgess for the eighth wicket, batting throughout the morning session.Ahead of this innings, Ishant’s highest first class score was 31 but the tall bowler left that way behind and scored a 66, before falling to Ateeq Javid as he tried to smash the ball for a straight six.REPLAY: A moment of history as Indian superstar @ImIshant scores his maiden first-class fifty and it comes in a Sussex shirt. #gosbts pic.twitter.com/Lp2Q7axh6jSussex CCC (@SussexCCC) April 21, 2018Perhaps joyous with his batting performance, Ishant gave Sussex an early breakthrough when he trapped Leicestershire opener Paul Horton leg before with a full delivery.REPLAY: Dramatic late in-swing does for Horton and Ishant is cock-a-hoop! #gosbts pic.twitter.com/7H5YQ3Rvd1Sussex CCC (@SussexCCC) April 21, 2018Thereafter, when he returned for another spell, he got another leg before wicket in his favour as he sent Michael Carberry packing.The idea of Indian cricketers plying their trade in the English county has become somewhat of a novelty over the years, especially recently.But that is changing.With an important tour of England on the horizon just beyond the 11th season of the IPL, many of the regulars of the Indian Test set-up who haven’t found favour with franchises are honing their talents in English conditions.advertisementIshant, who was signed up by Sussex for the first two months of the English county season, produced an inspired spell of bowling on Wednesday as the Warwickshire batsmen found themselves falling over while trying to cope with his artistry.He had figures of 3/53 from his 20.2 overs in the first innings, and returned in the second to snare 2/16 from nine as the 4-day match ended in a draw.He was rewarded with a 5-wicket haul on debut, showcasing his 81 Tests and 80 ODIs-worth of experience. Sussex have managed to rope him in for five games of the County Championship and all eight matches of their group stage matches in the One-Day Cup.Ishant isn’t the only one as Cheteshwar Pujara is turning out for Yorkshire.India captain Virat Kohli is also in line for a County stint after his commitments with Royal Challengers Bangalore in his bid to prepare for the upcoming Test series against England in August-September.While it is yet to be ascertained which county Kohli will represent, it could be Surrey in all likelihood.