Mizoram Edges Kerala in Santosh Trophy Quarterfinal Penalty Shootout

Mizoram Edges Kerala in Santosh Trophy Quarterfinal Penalty Shootout

The 77th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy witnessed a thrilling conclusion to the quarterfinals, with Mizoram edging out Kerala 7-6 in a nail-biting sudden-death penalty shootout.

The match at the Golden Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday saw both teams locked in a goalless stalemate throughout regulation and extra time. The deadlock persisted even in the tie-breaker, with the teams tied 5-5 before Kerala’s Sujith V.R. missed his attempt, handing Mizoram the victory.

Mizoram’s M.C. Malsawmzuala, Malsawmfela, F.C. Lalhmunmawia, E. Lalremtluanga, L. Tochhawng, Lalremruata, and Lalbiakthanga all converted their penalties, while Kerala’s Sanju G, Arjun V, Mohamed Salim, Riswanali Edakkavil, Sarath Prasanth K, and Jithin Gopalakrishnan scored before Sujith’s crucial miss.

The match was characterized by end-to-end action, with both Kerala and Mizoram creating numerous chances. However, poor finishing and solid goalkeeping from both sides kept the scoreline blank.

Earlier in the day, former champion Manipur showcased their attacking prowess with a resounding 7-1 victory over Assam in the third quarterfinal. Sadananda Singh led the charge for Manipur with a hat-trick, while Phijam Sanathoi Meetei, Ngangbam Pacha Singh (penalty), Maibam Deny Singh, and Imarson Meitei also found the net. Joydeep Gogoi scored the lone goal for Assam.

With these results, Mizoram and Manipur have advanced to the semifinals of the Santosh Trophy, while Kerala and Assam have been eliminated.

Kerala's Abijith Praveen Hits Six Sixes in an Over, Joins Elite Club

Kerala’s Abijith Praveen Hits Six Sixes in an Over, Joins Elite Club

Kerala’s Abijith Praveen Joins Elite Club with Six Sixes in an Over

In a remarkable display of power hitting, Kerala’s Abijith Praveen has etched his name into the annals of cricket history by becoming the latest batsman to smash six sixes in an over. The feat, achieved during the semifinal of the Navio Youth Trophy U-22 Cricket Tournament, follows a similar accomplishment by Andhra opener Vamshhi Krrishna just a week earlier.

Playing for Masters CC, Thiruvananthapuram, Abijith faced leg-spinner Joe Francis from Trident Cricket Academy, Thrissur, in the 21st over of the match. With the score already at 69, Abijith unleashed a barrage of sixes that cleared the boundary with ease. The first two balls sailed over long-off, while the third soared over deep mid-wicket. The fourth and fifth deliveries were deposited over cow corner and long-on, respectively, as Abijith raced to 105 by the end of the over.

However, Abijith’s pursuit of another six proved costly as he was caught at long-on by Abhiram off the bowling of Akshay TK. His innings of 106 came from just 52 balls and featured 10 sixes and two fours. Masters CC went on to win the match by 106 runs.

A native of Pachalloor in Thiruvananthapuram, Abijith expressed his elation at reaching his century with a six. “I have hit five sixes in an over before, but to hit six maximums is a dream come true,” he said. “After I connected the first two, I felt I should go for it. Luckily, I timed each shot perfectly. I still get goosebumps when I think of the moment.”

Abijith, who cites Ab de Villiers and Hardik Pandya as his role models, is an allrounder who bowls medium pace. He made his List A debut for Kerala last December against Sikkim in the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament, claiming three wickets but not getting an opportunity to bat.

Biju George, fielding coach of Delhi Capitals, under whom Abijith trains at the SAI Medical College ground in Thiruvananthapuram, praised his ward’s remarkable achievement. “He has strong hands, and his shots go a long distance,” George said. “His six-hitting technique is simple but mighty effective. I knew Abi could pull off something like this, and I am happy for him. I hope someone recognizes his power hitting and gives him a much bigger platform to showcase his talent in the coming days.”

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