Bangalore: The Toyota University Cricket Championship is becoming a one-man show. Skipper Kaunain Abbas kept his cool in a pressure game and guided Southern Champs Jain University Bengaluru to their third successive group A win at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday night. Abbas' unbeaten 44 off 47 balls consigned Northern Stallions Aligarh Muslim University to a five-wicket defeat in their first match of the tournament.
After the home team was reduced to 63 for four, Man of the Match Shreyas Gopal played a cameo 19 off 15 balls and his 37-run stand with Abbas, the tournament's highest scorer with 246 runs, guided the Rohinton Baria champions within sniffing distance of a win. Abbas sealed victory with a smashing boundary at mid-wicket and the Jain boys won with eight balls to spare.
Aligarh, defending their unimpressive 105 for nine after winning the toss on a batting track, made a rousing start with pacers Mansoor Ahmad and Ravindra Singh generating pace and bounce. Jain University were reduced to four for 2 wickets in the fourth over and Aligarh looked like striking back with vengeance. But a 44-run third wicket stand between Samarth Ravi Kumar (25 off 24 balls) and Abbas not only arrested the slide but put the innings back on course again.