Pacer Ankit Rajpoot was the wrecker-in-chief against Tripura as he picked up five wickets for 17 runs in Uttar Pradesh's Group B fixture at Thiruvananthapuram in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Tuesday.
Rajpoot vindicated UP's decision to bowl first in a six-overs-a-side shortened match as a result of a wet outfield when he took two wickets off the first two deliveries he bowled.
Bowling the second over of the match, he first had former Kenya international Tanmay Mishra caught by Mohsin Khan and then dismissed the other opener, Udiyan Bose, catching him off his own bowling.
The 25-year-old returned to bowl the penultimate over of the innings, and went one better this time, picking up the wickets of opposition skipper Manisankar Murasingh, Saurabh Das and Harmeet Singh as Tripura finished on 49/6 in their six overs.
Ankit Rajpoot's 5-wicket hauls in Twenty20 cricket:— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) November 12, 2019
4-0-20-5 vs Rajasthan, 2017
4-0-14-5 vs SRH, 2018
2-0-17-5 vs Tripura, Today
The first Indian to take three 5-fers in the T20 format. #SyedMushtaqAliTrophy
It was the pacer’s third five-wicket haul in T20s, one of which came in 2018 for Kings XI Punjab, when he picked 5/14 to rattle the SunRisers Hyderabad.
This was not the first time Rajpoot had run through Tripura - he had also recorded his best figures in the longest format of the game against the north-eastern state late last year in the Ranji Trophy.
In response, UP lost three wickets in the first two overs, including that of captain, Samarth Singh before Akshdeep Nath and Shubham Chaubey stitched an unbeaten 42-run partnership to take them home in 5.2 overs.
Simran's T20 best
Up north in Chandigarh, Simran Singh produced his highest score in T20 cricket when he scored 57* (32b, 7x4s, 3x6s) at a strike rate of 178.12 against Himachal Pradesh to lead Punjab to a comfortable eight-wicket win. Himachal could only manage 87/9 in their 20 overs after Sandeep Sharma's four-wicket haul kept them in check.
Punjab chased the target down with a 10.3 overs to spare with opener Simran Singh's second fifty in 11 T20 matches.