Bhuneswar-Kumar. (Photo Source: UPT20)
Kanpur, August 30 2023: In a historic day for cricket in Uttar Pradesh, the Noida Super Kings clinched victory in the inaugural match of the UPT20 league. The Noida Super Kings triumphed over the Kanpur Superstars, securing a remarkable 16-run win in a thrilling contest at the Green Park International Stadium. This momentous win was orchestrated by a dazzling knock from Samarth Singh (91) and an economical display of bowling prowess by veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/16).
Choosing to bat first, the Noida Super Kings began the tournament with an explosive powerplay. The opening pair of Almas Shaukat (21) and Samarth Singh (91) put on 47 runs in just five overs, before Almas Shaukat became the first wicket of the tournament, dismissed by a well-directed bouncer from Ankit Rajpoot. While Samarth Singh went on to become the first half centurion of the tournament, in 40 balls, the runs dried up in the middle overs.
Kanpur efficiently deployed their spin bowlers to consistently take wickets, J Dhankar dismissed Shantanu (7) and Prashant Veer (1), while Vivek scalped Noida’s skipper Nitish Rana for a meager four runs. At the end of 15 overs, the Kanpur Superstars had done well to restrict the Noida Super Kings to 105/4. The death overs saw Noida regain momentum as the well settled Samarth Singh unleashed a barrage of strokes towards the death overs, he raced his way to 91 runs in just 58 balls, before he was dismissed in the final over.
He was well supported by Osho Mohan (23*) and Saurabh Khan (12) added the finishing touches with two consecutive sixes before he fell to Aquib Khan as well, on the last delivery of the innings. The Noida Super Kings finished at 169/6 in 20 overs.
In response the Kanpur Super Stars had a tepid start, at the end of the powerplay Kanpur was placed at 42/1. The young Adarsh Singh (16) lost his wicket in the fifth over, to impact player, Naman Tiwari. Soon after Ansh Yadav (0) was dismissed by P Veer in the eighth over.
Opener Rahul Rajpal looked to be in fine form, he cracked seven boundaries for his 37 runs before he was cleaned up by Saurabh Kumar in the ninth over. Nitish Rana went on to find his first wicket of the campaign, when he sent back Sandeep Tomar (7) cheaply. At the end of 13 overs, the Kanpur Superstars were in hot water at 92/4. Sameer Rizvi (41) and Captain Akshdeep Nath (32) came together to weave a critical partnership of 36 runs in just 17 deliveries.
Sameer Rizvi’s composed but quick knock came to an end when he was bowled by the crafty Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 16th over. With Kanpur requiring 40 runs in four overs, the match was evenly poised. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a stellar penultimate over, conceding only three runs and picking up the all-important wicket of Akshdeep Nath, to ensure Noida won the first ever match of UPT20 by 16 runs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the Noida bowling unit with figures of 2/16.
Noida Super Kings: 169/6 in 20 overs (Samarth Singh – 91 runs off 58 balls, Osho Mohan – 23* runs off 18 balls, Almas Shaukat – 21 runs off 17 balls, J Dhankar – 2/30, Aquib Khan – 2/49, Vivek – 1/22, Ankit Rajpoot – 1/34)
Kanpur Super Stars: 153/8 (Sameer Rizvi – 41 runs off 22 balls, Rahul Rajpal – 37 runs off 32 balls, Akshdeep Nath – 32 runs off 21 balls, Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 2/16, Nitish Rana – 1/7, Prashant Veer – 1/14, Naman Tiwari – 1/23, Saurabh Kumar 1/33)