Abhay Negi, the 27-year-old from Uttarkahand who plays for Meghalaya in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, created history during the clash against Mizoram at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday. Negi blasted two fours and six sixes in his knock of 50 which came off 14 balls as Meghalaya smashed 207/4. His knock, combined with Dwaraka Ravi Teja's 53 off 31 balls helped Meghalaya win by 25 runs against a spirited Mizoram side. However, Negi's knock stole the show as he broke the record for the previous fastest fifty in the Syed Mushtaq Ali set by Robin Uthappa. However, he equalled the record of KL Rahul for the fastest fifty in Indian domestic Twenty20. Rahul had smashed a fifty off just 14 balls for Kings XI Punjab during their IPL 2018 clash against Delhi Capitals in Mohali.
Mizoram chose to bowl and they got the wicket of Puneet Bisht for 19. Raj Biswa, the captain and Amiangshu Sen tried to stitch a solid stand but both fell in quick succession to Lalhmangaiha and Henry Lalsangzuala. However, Ravi Teja and Sanjay Yadav proceeded to make smooth progress with Ravi Teja in particular the aggressor. His knock of 53 included five fours and two sixes but he was reduced to a mere spectator by Negi, who blasted six sixes in his knock of 50 off 15 balls.
In response, Mizoram made a spirited replay in their pursuit of 208. Biswa got rid of Lalhmangaiha for 15 but Taruwar Kohli and KP Pawan kept the fight going. Both batsmem smashed aggressive fifties, with Kohli going on to make 90 off 59 balls with seven fours and four sixes. Pawan, on the other hand, smashed six fours and three sixes as both batsmen scored at a strike-rate in excess of 150. However, the asking rate mounted and Mizoram were just playing for pride.
Negi, though, capped off a brilliant day when he bowled Kohli for 90. With the IPL Auctions coming up on December 19, 2020, the exploits of many players in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will be closely monitored and Negi has given himself a good chance of being in the radar of some franchises.