Irfan Pathan produced a fine all-round show to help Baroda clinch their first domestic title in 11 years when they beat Punjab by eight runs in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali All India knockout Twenty20 tournament at the Brabourne Stadium on Tuesday.
The India all-rounder, who joined the team only after they reached the final on Monday, made a crucial unbeaten 36 and followed it up with an impressive spell of two for 24 in his four overs.
Electing to bat, Baroda were were reduced to 24 for three after five overs. Yusuf Pathan then had two useful partnerships with Monil Patel and skipper Pinal Shah to steady the ship.
However, the most crucial partnership was between Irfan Pathan and Shah, who added 48 runs in six overs for the sixth wicket. Shah top-scored with 39 and hit two fours and two sixes. Irfan used the long handle, ending the innings with a four and six of the last two balls off pacer Manpreet Gony.
Irfan and Munaf Patel picked up a wicket each in the first two overs to put Punjab on the backfoot and stifled the scoring in their second spells.
Making the most
Irfan, who made his India comeback last year, said, "The final of a domestic tournament doesn't happen often. In 13 years this is only my third final, so I wanted to make most of this opportunity."