Even the spectacular Team India victory against Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane failed to inspire Vidarbha as they crashed to fifth consecutive defeat in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Cricket tournament at the Emerald High School ground in Indore on Tuesday.
In the fifth and last league outing of the Elite Group D, Vidarbha lost to Goa by 16 runs, ending their miserable run in the competition.
Chasing a competitive target of 157, Vidarbha batsmen could not rise to the occasion and were restricted 140 for 8.
Only Akshay Karnewar (31: 22b, 2×4, 2×6) and Apoorv Wankhade (27: 22b, 3×4) made an effort to chase down the target. Rest of the batsmen just caved in meekly and lacked the will to fight.
Akshay Wadkar (21: 19b, 1×4, 1×6), Mohit Raut (15: 21b, 1×4) and opener Jitesh Sharma (10: 8b, 1×4, 1×6) had starts but did not show any application to carry on which dented Vidarbha’s chances of an elusive win.
Goa’s Felix Alemao (3-27) and Lakshay Garg (2-28) bowled well and halted Vidarbha’s progress.
Earlier, Vidarbha pacers Yash Thakur and Aditya Thakare bowled splendidly to restrict Goa to 156 for 6.
Vidarbha started off brilliantly and had Goa on the mat initially. Opting to bat, Goa were struggling at 23 for the loss of top three batsmen and it looked Vidarbha would wrap up them quite quickly.
However, Vidarbha let Goa off the hook as they bounced back gallantly to post a challenging total of 156-6 in their stipulated 20 overs.
The hero for Goa turned out to be their captain Amit Verma. The Goan skipper not only won the toss but also led from the front when his team needed it the most.
The young Goa skipper smashed an unbeaten 72 off just 46 balls to bail out his side. Verma hammered eight fours and three sixes to frustrate Vidarbha.
Verma got solid support from Snehal Kauthankar (35: 30b, 1×4, 2×6) and Darshan Misal (13 not out: 6b, 1×4, 1×6).
All the three Vidarbha speedsters bowled superbly. Yash Thakur was the pick of the bowler with 3 for 36. Aditya Thakare was very economical and conceded just 18 runs from his four overs and bagged a couple of wickets. Find of the tourney Darshan Nalkande picked up a wicket.
Vidarbha spinners including their stand-in captain Akshay Wakhare failed to make any inroads into the opposition batting line-up.
Goa 156 for 6 in 20 overs (Amit Verma 72 not out, Snehal Kauthankar 35, Darshan Misal 13 not out, Amogh Desai 12; Yash Thakur 3-36, Aditya Thakare 2-18, Darshan Nalkande 1-41) beat Vidarbha 140 for 8 in 20 overs (Akshay Karnewar 31, Apoorv Wankhade 27, Akshay Wadkar 21, Mohit Raut 15, Jitesh Sharma 10, Siddhesh Wath 9; Felix Alemao 3-27, Lakshay Garg 2-28, Vijeth Prabhudesai 1-21, Darshan Misal 1-26) by 16 runs.