Following their defeat to Maharashtra earlier in the week, Punjab roared back to winning ways with a resounding victory over Goa in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. A key contributor to that win was none other than 21-year-old prodigy Prabhsimran Singh, who scored his first ever century in the competition to give his side a convincing 81 run victory over Eknath Kerkar’s side. 

Batting first, Punjab got the ideal start as both Shubman Gill and Prabhsimran Gill found their feet against a hapless Goa bowling attack. The duo added 118 runs for the first wicket, with Gill playing second fiddle for most of that partnership as Prabhsimran launched into the opposition bowlers. 

The Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batsman smacked 11 fours and six sixes in his innings, as he scored at a strike rate of nearly 200 through this innings. Deepraj Gaonkar and Amit Yadav felt the full wrath of the youngster’s carnage, as the four overs combined between them yielded 61 runs. Prabhsimran remained not out at the end of that innings, getting his first T20 century for Punjab and finishing at 119* off just 61 balls. 

In reply, Punjab’s bowlers complimented the batsmen perfectly, as they restricted the opposition to just 116 runs. Punjab Kings players Arshdeep Singh and Harpreet Brar both contributed significantly to that bowling effort, as they conceded just 29 runs in the eight overs amongst themselves. Harpreet Brar claimed the wickets of Shubham Ranjane and Suyash Prabhudessai as well, ending with figures of 2/12. 

Nalkande claims career best figures

In an earlier game, another Punjab Kings player showed his class as Darshan Nalkande stole the show for Vidarbha in their game against Arunachal Pradesh. The fast bowler completely broke the back of the Arunachal Pradesh batting, as he claimed career best figures of 5/9 while also bowling a maiden. 

Nalkande picked up the wickets of Nazeed Saiyed, wicketkeeper Techi Sonam, Rajesh Bishnoi and two more tailenders to give Vidarbha a resounding 94 run victory in their opening game of the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. 

Hooda hits purple patch

Prior to the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Deepak Hooda switched teams from Baroda to Rajasthan, and his acquisition is proving to be a perfect hit for Rajasthan. The Punjab Kings all-rounder has been firing on all cylinders, registering scores of 75*, 50 and 70* in the three games so far. 

Hooda has been integral to Rajasthan’s perfect start to the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and has only been dismissed once so far in the competition. He is currently the second highest run getter in the competition behind Ruturaj Gaikwad and has the best strike rate in the competition- nearly touching 200.