Ajit Gopalakrishnan spins Serco into MiD DAY CCL semi-final

ShinraiI Toyota, Pantaloon India Ltd, Serco and Nirlon Ltd entered the semi-final of the third edition of the Pearls Global Arena MiD DAY Corporate Cricket League at the Parsee Gymkhana, Marine Lines on Saturday. Nirlon Ltd was the lucky loser who made it to the semi-final on the basis of the highest run rate in the quarter-final.

Devastating: Serco Best Bowler Ajit Gopalakrishnan in action against Aegon Religare

Shinrai Toyota defeated Al Samit International by eight wickets in the first quarter-final of the day. Electing to bat, Al Samit managed to put on board just 53 runs in the stipulated 10 overs for the loss of three wickets. Imran Matheranwala (14) was the highest scorer for Al Samit. Sajid Khan’s 13-ball 19 helped Shinrai reach the target in just 6.1 overs. Shinrai’s pacer Manish Bhogale, who claimed three for five, was adjudged the best bowler while Sajid Khan walked away with the best batsman award.

Palande panache
In the second quarter-final, Pantaloon India Ltd registered a five-wicket win over Nirlon Ltd. Saurabh Singh’s 14-ball 24 and Nitin Kadam’s 11-ball 15 helped Nirlon post a total of 87-7 in 10 overs. Unbeaten knocks from Pantaloon’s Nitin Palande (13-ball 35) and Nilesh Bhukre (10-ball 29) helped Pantaloon chase the target comfortably in 8.5 overs. Pantaloon’s Nitin Palande and Nirlon’s Saurabh Singh (3-14) were adjudged the best batsman and bowler respectively.

The third quarter-final between Aegon Religare and Serco was a one-sided affair, with the latter winning by a massive 91-run margin. Serco’s Arman Shaikh was on a run-rampage as he made a quickfire 31 off just nine deliveries and his unbeaten knock included two boundaries and three sixes while Brijesh Poojari made 24 runs off 12 balls to take Serco’s total to 124-3 in 10 overs. Later, Ajit Gopalakrishnan’s superlative bowling figures of 4-4 in 1.4 overs helped Serco bundle out Aegon Religare for 33 runs in 6.4 overs. Gopalakrishnan and Arman Shaikh were named the best bowler and batsman respectively for their efforts. Dr Gokul Singh’s commentary clubbed with the pulsating MiD DAY Mumbai anthem in the background kept the audience entertained throughout the day.

Brief scores:
>> Al Samit International 53-3 (Imran Matheranwala 14; Manish Bhogale 3-5) Shinrai Toyota 56-2 (Sajid Khan 19; Danish Deshmukh 1-19).
>>  Nirlon Ltd 87-7 (Saurabh Singh 25; Shailesh Joshi 2-9) lost to Pantaloon India Ltd 89-5 (Nitin Palande 35, Nilesh Bhukre 29; Saurabh Singh 3-14).
>> Serco 124-3 (Arman Shaikh 31, Brijesh Poojari 24; Pratish Nair 1-19) beat Aegon Religare 33 (Sachin Sanil 7; Ajit Gopalakrishnan 4-4). 

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