Vidarbha stunned fancied Maharashtra by seven wickets in the first pre-quarterfinal of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here on Tuesday to enter the last-eight stage of the national T20 championship. Opting to field at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Vidarbha restricted Maharashtra to 157/8 despite a brisk 45-ball 66 by one-down Rahul Tripathi. Then they rode on half centuries by opener Atharva Taide (56 off 38 balls) and skipper Akshay Wadkar (58 not out off 47 balls) to chase down the target with 13 balls to spare.
Maharashtra lost skipper Naushad Shaikh (0), who was trapped in front of the wicket by young right-arm pacer Yash Thakur (3/17), in the second over. Then Tripathi, who struck five boundaries and three sixes, rallied the innings with opener Yash Nahar (29), as the two added 64 runs for the second wicket.
But left-arm orthodox bowler Akshay Karnewar (2/25) brought Vidarbha back into contention by removing a well-set Nahar to leave Maharashtra at 77/2. An out-of-form Kedar Jadhav (6) became Karnewar’s second scalp as Maharashtra slipped to 91/3. Vidarbha bowlers kept making inroads and did not allow the opposition batters to settle.