Mandeep Singh led from the front with an unbeaten 99 to help Punjab trounce Tripura by five wickets here on Monday and storm into the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy as table-toppers from Group A. (More Cricket News)
Defending champions Karnataka also remained in the hunt for the last-eight berth, securing a five-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh that took their net run-rate to 0.292.
Five Elite group winners and the Plate group toppers qualify directly, while the remaining two spots are grabbed by the two best teams from across the Elite groups, decided on the basis of points, wins, head-to-head and net run rate, in that order.
Tripura's decision to field backfired at the KSCA Cricket (2) Ground here as Mandeep took the opposition bowling attack to cleaners, smashing four sixes and nine fours in his 66-ball unbeaten knock to take them to an imposing 183/3.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann gave the Punjab skipper a fine support at the other end as he struck six sixes and three fours in a quickfire 33-ball 63 in their entertaining 110-run partnership.
Tripura opener Udiyan Bose (50 from 37 balls) and middle-order batsman Milind Kumar (64 not out from 40 balls) struck half-centuries but their effort was not enough as their team was restricted to 161/4.
With five wins on the trot, Punjab finished on top with 20 points and sealed their quarterfinal spot.
In a must-win match, home side Karanataka restricted Uttar Pradesh to 132/8 before Shreyas Gopal's unbeaten 47 off 28 balls (5x4, 1x6) scripted a 22-run win with three balls to spare.
The defending champions will now have to wait from the results of the other Elite group results to ascertain their last-eight passage.
Left arm spinner J Suchith returned with 3/21 but it was Praveen Dubey who was splendid with his tidy figures of 3/15 that included the wicket of veteran Suresh Raina (4) to stymie Uttar Pradesh after a brisk start by openers Abhishek Goswami and Karan Sharma, who stitched 69 runs in 50 balls.
Karnataka overcame mid-innings jitters with Gopal's steering the chase at No 6 with his calm-headed innings.
Uttar Pradesh 132/8; 20 overs (Abhishek Goswami 47, Karan Sharma 41, Suresh Raina 4, Priyam Garg 6; J Suchith 3/21, Praveen Dubey 3/15) lost to Karnataka 136/5; 19.3 overs (Shreyas Gopal 47 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 34; Sharma 2/23, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 0/22) by five wickets.
Punjab 183/3; 20 overs (Mandeep Singh 99 not out, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 63) beat Tripura 161/4; 20 overs (Milind Kumar 64 not out, Udiyan Bose 50, Rajat Dey 38 not out) by 22 runs.
Railways 133/9; 20 overs (Mrunal Devdhar 57, Pratham Singh 42; Umran Malik 3/24, Parvez Rasool 2/19) lost to Jammu and Kashmir 135/3; 15.5 overs (Suryansh Raina 48, Abdul Samad 39) by seven wickets.