Sanju Samson smashed 72 off 56 balls as Kerala completed a five wicket win over Punjab to cruise into the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, in Kochi, on Saturday.
Yuvraj Singh (54 off 44) took Punjab to 135 for 7 before Samson stole the show to lead Kerala to their fifth win in as many games.
Punjab are still in hunt for a quarterfinals with a game to go on Sunday. They have 12 points from three wins in five games and are placed fourth in Group B behind runaway leaders Kerala (20 points), second placed Jharkhand (16 points) and Saurashtra, who are also on 12 points but have better net run rate.
Top two teams from each of the four groups qualify for the quarterfinals.
Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh had a decent outing with the ball, taking two wickets for 19 runs in four overs.
Punjab: 135/7 in 20 overs (Yuraj Singh 54; P Prasanth 3/11).
Kerala: 139/5 in 19.5 overs (Sanju Samson 72, Harbhajan Singh 2/19).
Delhi beat Goa to book quarterfinals berth
Delhi produced a disciplined bowling display as they defended a small total to beat Goa by a narrow two runs and qualify for the knock-out rounds in Vadodara.
Put into bat, Delhi top-order batsmen, including captain and opener Gautam Gambhir (4), came a cropper as they posted a mere 91 all out in 19.2 overs at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara.
Left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati (5/17) ran through the Delhi middle and lower order batting line-up after Lakshay Garg (2/5) inflicted early damage in the Group C match.
Delhi did not have any substantial partnership as only three of their batsmen could reach double-digit figures with Milind Kumar top-scoring with a 29-ball 19. Opener Unmukt Chand (15) and Shivam Sharma (12) are the other main contributors.
Chasing 92 for a win, Goa could score 89 for 9 in the face a disciplined bowling show by Delhi. The Goans also suffered a batting collapse as only two batsmen could score in double digits.
Saurabh Bandekar top-scored with a 28-ball 31 not out while Swapnil Asnodkar contributed 21.
For Delhi, pacer Parvinder Awana grabbed three wickets for 21 runs while Akash Sudan took two for 10 runs. Pradeep Sangwan, Pawan Negi and Suboth Bhati got a wicket apiece.
With four points from Saturday's win, Delhi have secured 20 points from five matches to book a quarterfinal berth with one match left to be played.
Delhi: 91 all out in (19.2 overs (Milind Kumar 19; Shadab Jakati 5/17)
Goa: 89/9 in 20 overs (Saurabh Bandekar 31 not out; Parvinder Awana 3/21).
Tripura prevail in last-ball thriller against Rajasthan
Tripura's tailend batsman Viki Saha held his nerve to help Tripura eke out a one-wicket win against Rajasthan in a thrilling last-ball finish in the Group B match in Kochi.
Chasing 113 for a win at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Tripura were reduced to 112 for nine in 19.4 overs before new man Saha, who had bagged two wickets in the first innings of the game, got the strike on the final ball of the match to score the winner.
Earlier one-down batsman Rajat Dey set the chase with his well-made 43 only to see the rest of the batting falter against a disciplined Rajasthan attack. Rana Dutta and wicketkeeper-batsman Nirupam Sen also chipped in with identical scores of 16 each.
Medium-pacer Nathu Singh bagged four wickets, while off-spinner Chandrapal Singh Chundawat picked up two.
The outcome of the match though has no bearing on the chances of the two sides in the competition as they are already out of the quarter-finals race.
Rajasthan: 112/9 in 20 overs (Rajat Bhatia 34, Ankit Lamba 19; Rana Dutta 0-15)
Tripura: 113/9 in 20 overs (Rajat Dey 43; Nathu Singh 4-25)
Jharkhand beat Saurashtra by 7 wickets
Jharkhand reached the knockout stage after producing a disciplined all-round performance to comfortably beat Saurashtra by seven wickets in the national T20 championship.
Opting to bowl, Jharkhand restricted Saurashtra to 128 for five in the stipulated 20 overs at Nehru Stadium, before overhauling the target with three balls to spare, reaching 132 for three in 19.3 overs.
Opening the batting, India player Cheteshwar Pujara top-scored for Saurashtra with 54 off 52 balls, while hitting five boundaries and two sixes.
In their chase, Jharkhand's Virat Shah made 41 off 45 balls with the help of two boundaries and a six in the Group B game.
Jharkhand have registered an impressive five wins from six matches, while Saurashtra have won three games and lost three in their six outings.
Haryana end losing streak, beat Bengal
Nitin Saini's unbeaten 74 and Amit Mishra's four-wicket haul helped Haryana notch up their first victory of the tournament as they beat Bengal by 17 runs in a Group A match.
Though both the team are out of contention for a knockout berth and are jostling for the bottom position in the points table, it was a morale-lifting win for Haryana given the terrible run they have endured so far in the tournament.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, Haryana rode on Saini's 59-ball 74, including eight fours and a six, to post a decent total of 127/3 on board.
In reply, Bengal, who have won two and lost three of their previous matches, botched up the chase from the very start and managed 110/8 in their 20 overs.
Wriddhiman Saha was Bengal's top-scorer with 32 off 29 balls.
Leg-spinner Mishra was the wrecker-in-chief for Haryana, snaring four for 30 in his four overs. Harshal Patel also chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Haryana: 127/3 in 20 overs (Nitin Saini 74 not out, Mukesh Kumar 1/14).
Bengal: 110/8 in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 32, Amit Mishra 4/30).
Baroda scrape past Andhra
Baroda batsman made heavy weather of a modest run-chase to scrape past Andhra Pradesh by three wickets in their penultimate Group C Twenty20 league match and enter the knockouts.
Baroda, along with with table-toppers Delhi, have remained unbeaten in their five league games to secure their respective quarter-finals spots.
Chasing a paltry 92 for a win at the Motibaug Cricket Stadium, the hosts were reduced to 52 for six, before skipper Irfan Pathan (28 not out) hung on with Swapnil K Singh (13) and then Soaeb Tai (3 not out) to help achieve the target in 16.5 overs.
After pace spearhead Ayyappa Banadru gave the visitors the opening breakthrough, spinners Bodavarapu Sudhakar and Sirla Himasrinivas shared five wickets between themselves to make life difficult for the Baroda batsmen, who faltered against a disciplined attack but finally prevailed.
Andhra Pradesh: 91/9 in 20 overs (Srikar Bharat 30, Bandary Ayyappa 24; Bhargav Bhatt 2-5)
Baroda: 93/7 in 16.5 overs (Irfan Pathan 28 not out, Kedar Devdhar 13; Bodavarapu Sudhakar 3-15, Sirla Himasrinivas 2-18)
Himachal record easy six-wicket win over TN
Himachal Pradesh brightened their prospects of advancing to the knockout stage after recording a comfortable six-wicket win over Tamil Nadu in Nagpur.
Batting at number three, Paras Dogra top-scored for Himachal with a swashbuckling 33-ball 79, guiding the side home in its chase of 169 with as many as 19 balls to spare at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground.
Chasing a challenging target after opting to bowl, Dogra led the way for Himachal, blasting seven boundaries and five sixes, as they raced to 173 for four in 16.5 overs when the winning runs were hit in the Group A game of the Twenty20 meet.
Earlier, opener K Bharat Shankar was the highest scorer for Tamil Nadu with a 24-ball 41. He hit nine boundaries, while skipper R Satish, coming in at number seven, struck 41 off just 21 balls with the help of three sixes and as many fours.
Himachal have four wins and two defeats from six matches, while Tamil Nadu have three victories and as many reverses from equal number of games.
Pallav stars in Assam's win over Railways
Opener Pallav Kumar Das made a strokeful 77 to guide Assam to a comfortable five-wicket win over Railways in an inconsequential Group C match.
Chasing 143 runs for victory, Pallav hammered the Railways bowlers to all parts of the ground to score his runs off just 43 balls. He struck eight boundaries and three sixes in the process.
Besides Pallav, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad was the other notable run getter for Assam with a 39-ball 36 as Assam chased down the target with ease, reaching 147 runs for five in 18.2 overs.
Ashish Yadav (2/20) and Anureet Singh (2/30) shared four wickets between them for Railways.
Earlier electing to bowl, leg-spinner Amit Verma (3/20) and left-arm pacer Mrinmoy Dutta (3/23) picked up three wickets apiece while Pallav (2/16) scalped two as Assam restricted Railways to 142 for eight.
Wicket-keeper Mahesh Rawat top-scored for Railways with a 47-ball 72. He hit seven boundaries and three sixes during his knock.
Railways ended their campaign with just eight points from six matches while Assam have one more match to go.
Railways: 142 for eight in 20 overs (Mahesh Rawat 72; Amit Verma 3/20, Mrinmoy Dutta 3/23).
Assam: 147 for five in 18.2 overs (Pallav Kumar Das 77; Yadav 2/20).