Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: MD Azharuddin smashed 37 runs.

In an epic run-chase in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Kerala’s Mohammad Azharuddin hit a century of 37 from 37 balls on Wednesday to eclipse the target of 197 runs in 16 overs against Mumbai. Batting on more than 250 strikes, he made the match unbeaten by scoring 137 off 54 balls, which included nine fours and eleven maximums. His effort helped Kerala maintain their winning momentum as they won the contest by eight wickets.

With this feat, Azharuddin became the first player from the state to score a century in the competition. Now he also holds the record for scoring the second fastest century in this tournament. Rishabh Pant’s century in 32 balls remains the fastest 100 runs in this competition.

After inviting Mumbai to bat first, the word Kerala was retracted. Under-19 star Yashasvi Jaiswal teamed up with Aditya Tare to give Mumbai a quick start as the pair added 88 runs in the first ten overs. While none of the Mumbai batsmen could get the 50-run mark, the valuable contributions of team captain Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dubey and others helped Mumbai to post a mammoth 196/7 post 20 overs. Jalaj Saxena and KM Asif took three wickets each for Kerala, while MD Nidhesh took one wicket.

In response to Mumbai’s 196, the opening pair of Robin Uthappa and Azharuddin gave Kerala the perfect start. Azharuddin scored his half-century in 20 balls and scored 17 runs to complete his second half-century.

The duo of Uthappa and Azharuddin added 129 runs for the first wicket before Uthappa was dismissed for 33 by Shams Mulani in the 10th over. However, this did not break Azharuddin’s pace as he continued to play shots comfortably and helped bring his side to the line comfortably.

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