top of page

Punjab win SMAT 2023-24: Key architects of their campaign

SMAT 2023-24: Key architects of Punjab's winning campaign. Punjab beat Baroda in the final. Punjab clinch their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

SMAT 2023-24: Punjab lift their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©pcacricket/Twitter)
Punjab clinch their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title (Photo: ©pcacricket/Twitter)

Punjab emerged victorious in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023-24, breaking a 30-year trophy drought, and the architects behind this historic win showcased exceptional skill and determination. In the final against Baroda, Anmolpreet Singh's crucial catches in the penultimate over and Harpreet Brar's final yorker to Brar Patel marked the culmination of Punjab's three-decade-long wait for a domestic title, last achieved during the Ranji Trophy in 1992-93 when most of the current squad hadn't even been born.

The entire ecosystem supporting Punjab worked cohesively behind the scenes, leading them to triumph in crucial moments throughout the season. Out of the seven group games, their only loss came against Saurashtra, reflecting their resilience and adaptability.

Let's delve into the top four architects who played pivotal roles in Punjab's triumphant campaign in the SMAT 2023-24 season:

1. Abhishek Sharma (485 runs at a strike rate of 192.46)

A shining prospect for Punjab, Abhishek Sharma's aggressive batting set the tone for the season. From the second game onwards, he entered a purple patch, hammering 112 in just 51 balls against Andhra, contributing to Punjab's record-setting total of 275/6. His second century, a scintillating 112 off 56 balls against Gujarat, showcased his boundary-hitting prowess. Abhishek finished as the second-highest run-scorer with 485 runs in 10 innings at an average of 48.50 and a strike rate of 192.46, including three fifties and two centuries.

2. Anmolpreet Singh (355 runs at a strike rate of 180.20)

Complementing Abhishek's aggressive approach, Anmolpreet Singh provided stability to the innings. His impactful knocks included a 26-ball 87 against Andhra and a match-winning 61-ball 113 in the final against Baroda. Anmolpreet amassed 355 runs in the competition at an average of 44.37 and a strike rate of 180.20, featuring one fifty and one century.

3. Siddarth Kaul (16 wickets at an average of 20.75):

Despite facing some challenges, Siddarth Kaul emerged as a key figure in Punjab's bowling arsenal. Delivering crucial breakthroughs, Kaul's defining spells against Manipur, Delhi, and others showcased his ability to pick wickets at vital stages. Finishing with 16 wickets in 10 innings at an average of 20.75 and an economy of 9.17, Kaul played a significant role in Punjab's success.

4. Harpreet Brar (15 wickets at an average of 18.80):

Harpreet Brar, a crucial element in Punjab's bowling strategy, contributed with both ball and bat. His game-changing spells, including 3/18 against Andhra and 3/15 against Railways, demonstrated his effectiveness in controlling the run flow. Additionally, his lower-order batting with a strike rate of 160 added crucial runs for Punjab. Brar concluded the tournament with 15 wickets in 10 innings at an average of 18.80 and an economy of 7.23, including his best spell of 4/18.

As Punjab savours the glory of their SMAT victory, the focus now shifts to the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy (VHT) 2023, commencing on November 23rd. The defending champions, Saurashtra, will kickstart their campaign against Kerala in Alur. The synergy among Punjab's players, both in batting and bowling, will undoubtedly set the stage for an exciting 50-over domestic tournament.


bottom of page