The 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy has reached the halfway mark, with one more round of league matches to be played before the top teams proceed to the next stage. It has been a fruitful tournament for our Royals in action, who have shone through for their respective teams. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key highlights so far:

Ton-up Devdutt headlines opening day

Southpaw Devdutt Padikkal began the season in scintillating form, smashing an unbeaten 124 for Karnataka against Maharashtra in a Group C game at Mohali. His 124* came off just 62 balls and included 14 fours and 6 sixes, meaning he batted at a whopping strike rate of 200 to propel his team to 215/2 in 20 overs. An all-round bowling performance then ensured Karnataka got over the line with a massive 99-run victory. 

Yashasvi on a roll

In only his first batting opportunity in the tournament, Yashasvi Jaiswal slammed an unbeaten half-century for Mumbai, guiding them to a successful chase against Madhya Pradesh. Having been set a target of 182, the Mumbai top order started strongly, with Yashasvi bringing his form at No.3. His 44-ball 66 was laced with nine boundaries, and paved the way for a dominating 8-wicket win for Mumbai. In the next three games, two more 40+ plus scores meant that the left-hander played a crucial role in his team’s victories in those games. 

All-round Riyan leaves a mark

In six matches so far, all-rounder Riyan Parag has not only been among the runs but has also contributed with the ball for Assam. With 178 runs, he averages over 50 in the tournament, with three unbeaten innings, including a match-winning half-century against Mizoram. His handy off-spin has also helped him pocket 6 wickets at a decent economy of 5. 

Saini Express stars for Delhi

With 5 wins in 6 matches and 20 points to their name, Delhi are currently joint-leaders in the Group B points table. One of the many solid contributors to the team’s success has been pacer Navdeep Saini, who has already scalped 10 wickets in the competition. His finest performance came against Hyderabad, where he registered figures of 4/17 in just 3.1 overs to bundle out the opponents for 150, chasing a steep target of 197. 

Sanju continues his form

The wicketkeeper-batter entered the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on the back of a good outing in India’s series against South Africa, and picked up right where he left off. Captaining Kerala, Sanju continued his good form with some critical knocks down the order. His explosive knock of 61 in the last game against Jammu & Kashmir helped Kerala set up a challenging total, and eventually seal a 62-run win. 

With the last leg of the league stage left, the race for the knockouts only gets interesting from here on. Mumbai is currently leading Group A, with the rest of the groups witnessing some intense competition for the top spots. The knockout stage will start with three pre-quarter final games on October 30, followed by the quarters and semi-finals, and the grand finale scheduled on November 5.

Which Royal do you think will lift the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year? Tweet your thoughts to us at @rajasthanroyals or send them to me, @arey_yaar