Kochi: Sanju Samson smashed 72 off 56 balls as Kerala completed a five wicket win over Punjab to cruise into the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy on Saturday.
Yuvraj Singh (54 off 44) took Punjab to 135 for 7 before Samson stole the show to lead Kerala to their fifth win in as many games.
Punjab are still in hunt for a quarterfinals with a game to go on Sunday. They have 12 points from three wins in five games and are placed fourth in Group B behind runaway leaders Kerala (20 points), second placed Jharkhand (16 points) and Saurashtra, who are also on 12 points but have better net run rate.
Top two teams from each of the four groups qualify for the quarterfinals.
Yuvraj's half century was timely ahead of the T20s in Australia. He hammered seven fours and a six though it was not enough for a positive outcome for Punjab.
Sanju, on the other hand, was in sparkling form and struck six fours and three sixes in what was a highly entertaining innings.
Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh had a decent outing with the ball, taking two wickets for 19 runs in four overs.
Punjab 135/7 in 20 overs (Yuraj Singh 54; P Prasanth 3/11).
Kerala 139/5 in 19.5 overs (Sanju Samson 72, Harbhajan Singh 2/19)....