Snubbed by IPL, Ishank Jaggi carries East Zone to win over South Zone

Ishank Jaggi, who has not been shortlisted for IPL player auction, smashed a 51-ball 90 with 11 fours and four sixes to steer East Zone to a six-wicket win over South Zone in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament

cricket Updated: Feb 15, 2017 20:51 IST
Harit N Joshi
Harit N Joshi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
East Zone,South Zone,Ishank Jaggi
Ishank Jaggi plays a shot during a Syed Mustaq Ali inter zonal trophy match between East Zone and South Zone in Mumbai.(PTI)

Ishank Jaggi was a disturbed man going into Wednesday’s league match in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament at the Wankhede Stadium.

He was shocked to learn he does not figure among the 351 players who have been shortlisted for the player auctions for IPL’s 10th edition. This despite scoring 890 runs in 10 Ranji Trophy matches this season and a 51 in the last Mushtaq Ali tie for East Zone.

However, the 28-year-old Jharkhand batsman channelled his frustration in a positive way, smashing a 51-ball 90 with 11 fours and four sixes to steer East Zone to a six-wicket win over South Zone. The defeat dimmed South Zone’s victory chances after losing their second match on the trot.

Put into bat, South Zone only managed 178 for six in 20 overs. East Zone chased down the target with two balls to spare.

Jaggi was looking forward to his maiden IPL experience, having hit top form this season. “It was an important knock because our team won. Also, it was important at a personal level because I was disappointed last evening (not to make it to the auction pool). It has been a good season for me as I feel I have hit the peak.

“I have played so much of domestic cricket that I know all about it and want to graduate to the next level. That is why this knock was so important. It will help me move up to the next level,” said Jaggi.

Did the IPL snub spur him on? He said: “Because I want to play at the top, I need to continue performing at my best in every match. If I held a grudge and went out to bat, I may not have been that successful today. I know I need to be calm,” he said.

Jaggi was lucky on a couple of occasions. On 39, Jaggi holed out to square leg, but medium pacer Vijay Shankar had just over-stepped.

Jaggi was again lucky after Hanuma Vihari dropped a difficult chance at point when the lanky batsman was on 90. However, this time Jaggi didn’t capitalise as he fell to pacer Basil Thampi the next ball.

His wicket gave South Zone a chance to come back into the match as East still needed 20 runs from three overs, but the latter comfortably chased down the target.

East restricted South to 178 for six in 20 overs. After losing Tanmay Agarwal (2) early, Mayank Agarwal (72, 36b) and skipper R Vinay Kumar (68) forged a 112-run second wicket stand.

However, East Zone got back into the game after claiming five wickets for 51 runs, courtesy superb death bowling by Ashok Dinda (4-0-24-0) and Sayan Ghosh (3-0-29-1).

Star-studded North Zone flop

After taking 38 runs from the power-play overs without losing a wicket, the star-studded North Zone team wouldn’t have thought that they would fall short of the 168-run target against Central Zone in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 match at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

But Central’s Karn Sharma claimed the wickets of Gautam Gambhir (20), Shikhar Dhawan (37) and skipper Harbhajan Singh (1) and conceded only 17 runs in his four overs.

All hopes were now pinned on Yuvraj Singh, who brought the team closer to the target with a 20-ball 33 that included four towering sixes.

The three sixes came off Central Zone pacer Aniket Choudhary’s final over which went for 21 runs. From 52 in 18 balls, Yuvraj had brought down the equation to 31 in 12 balls.

Though Yuvraj departed after giving a simple catch to Karn, Manpreet Gony’s nine-ball 23 not out was not enough as North Zone lost by four runs.

First Published: Feb 15, 2017 18:48 IST