Baroda and Uttar Pradesh will square off in the final of the Mushtaq Ali T20 Championship following contrasting victories over their respective opponents in the concluding Super League matches.
Baroda pipped hosts Mumbai en route the summit clash by virtue of a better net run rate (NRR) while UP beat a formidable Delhi.
Needing 152 for victory in 19.1 overs to qualify for the final, Baroda reached the target in 19 overs, with one wicket to spare, in a thrilling Group A match at the Wankhede Stadium, on Monday.
Baroda had a better NRR of +0.299 compared to Mumbai's +0.196.
In the other match, UP registered their third straight win in Group B, at the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra Kurla Complex ground, defeating Delhi by three wickets, with two balls to spare.
Replying to Delhi's total of 158 for six, structured around opener Unmukht Chand's 48 and Pawan Negi's unbeaten 41, UP scored 159 for 7 in 19.4 overs, thanks to Eklavya Dwivedi's game-changing unbeaten 49 off 35 balls, which included five boundaries and two sixes.
At the Wankhede Stadium, Baroda, after winning the toss, opted to field.
Mumbai's 151 for five was built around T20 specialist Suryakumar Yadav's 57 (off 36 balls, studded with eight boundaries).
Needing to chase down the target in 19.1 overs and qualify for the January 20 final under lights at the Wankhede, Baroda were struggling at 79 for four after 11 overs following a triple strike by leg spinner Praveen Tambe, who packed off Mrunal Devdhar (18), Hardik Pandya (28) and Yusuf Pathan (1).
And when Irfan Pathan (19) and Deepak Hooda departed, the latter after making 53 in 35 balls, Baroda were in trouble at 126 for six at the beginning of the 17th over.
But Soaeb Tai (10) and wicketkeeper Pinal Shah (13) held their nerves to add crucial 19 runs. Though they lost three more wickets, the last wicket pair of Bhargav Bhat (4 not out), who had taken two wickets earlier, and former India player Munaf Patel (0 not out) helped Baroda complete a close win within the stipulated number of overs.
Vidarbha 105 in 19.3 overs (Faiz Fazal 18, Urvesh Patel 28; M Krishnan 3 for 29, N Nazar 3 for 14, F Ahmed 2 for 21) lost to Kerala 109 for 8 in 18.4 overs (N Surendran 21, R Prem 34; A Wakhare 3 for 26) by 2 wickets.
Jharkhand 142-6 in 20 overs (Ishank Jaggi 39, Virat Singh 29; Rush Kalaria 2-34, RP Singh 1-20) lost to Gujarat 146-4 in 14.1 Overs (Priyank Panchal 35, Manprit Juneja 33; Kaushal Singh 2-21, Vikash Singh 1-27) by 6 wickets.
Mumbai 151 for 5 (Suryakumar Yadav 57 not out; B Bhat 2 for 25) lost to Baroda 153 for 9 in 19 overs (D Hooda 53; D Kulkarni 2 for 23, S Trivedi 2 for 34, P Tambe 3 for 26) by 1 wicket.
Delhi 158 for 6 (U Chand 48, P Negi 41; A Mishra 2 for 25; P Chawla 2 for 31; K Yadav 2 for 29) lost to Uttar Pradesh 159 for 7 in 19.4 overs (E Dwivedi 49; N Saini 2 for 24) by 3 wickets.