Punjab defeated Baroda in the final to lift the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy (SMAT) 2023 on November 6. The match was played at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh.
Baroda captain Krunal Pandya won the toss and chose to field first. Punjab lost both openers for single-digit scores, but Anmolpreet Singh shouldered the rest of the innings. He scored an amazing century, making 113 with 10 fours and 5 sixes in 61 balls.
Captain Mandeep Singh also contributed 32 runs, while Nehal Wadera made 61* in 27 balls to propel Punjab to 223/4 in 20 overs. For Baroda, Soyeb Sopariya, Krunal Pandya, and Atit Sheth took a wicket each.
In response, despite 61 from Abhimanyusingh Rajput and contributions from Ninad Rathva (47) and Krunal Pandya (45), Baroda could only manage 203/7 and lost the game by 20 runs. For Punjab, Arshdeep Singh with 4/23 was the star with the ball.
This was Punjab’s maiden SMAT win and the youngsters were thoroughly praised by former Punjab players Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh on social media.
“Punjab you finally did it! Congrats on the historic Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy???? Big credit to coach #AavishkarSalvi for putting in the effort on the boys in the off-season. Well done skipper @mandeeps12, be proud of your team ???????? Fantastic performances by @IamAbhiSharma4 to win Man of the Series and solid display of talent in the final by @iamanmolpreet28 and @arshdeepsinghh. The future of Punjab cricket looks bright!#SyedMushtaqAliTrophy,” Yuvraj Singh posted on X.
On the other hand, Harbhajan Singh posted: “It gives me immense pride to see these boys from Punjab create history by winning maiden SMAT title. The hardwork, and dedication coupled with a systematic approach has brought about this success. Mandeep,Abhishek, Anmol, Nehal, Prabh, Ramandeep, Brar , sidkaul ,Sanvir have all been brilliant. Kudos to coach Aavishkar.”