Baroda beat Punjab by eight runs at the Brabourne Stadium yesterday to lift their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali national T20 title. Interestingly, this was Baroda's first title in over a decade, having last won the Ranji Trophy in 2001.
Playing his first match in the knockout phase of the national T20s, Irfan Pathan was at his best scoring an unbeaten 36 off 23 balls (five fours & a six) and then snaring two crucial wickets. From 91 for five, Irfan and skipper Pinal Shah (39 off 28 balls) helped the victors post a decent 149 for six.
Punjab scored 141 for eight.
Man of the match Irfan said it was a crucial outing for him. "I was charged up since yesterday. You don't get to play the final of a national tournament every year. In my 12-year career, this was only my third final. So, I was keen to do well," he said.
The India all-rounder took pride in his performance. "I am happy to have contributed with the bat here because I haven't got a lot of chances to bat with the Indian team. So, I was a nervous when I came out to bat today, but after a few strokes, I was comfortable.
About his bowling, the 27-year-old left-arm pacer said: "I bowled exactly to plan. The slower ones, yorkers... all came off well. From a personal point of view, this game has brought me back to my prime," said Irfan, who has played 29 Tests, 115 ODIs and 16 T20I for India.
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