VIJAY HAZARE TROPHY, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
Nitish Rana’s century set up Delhi’s win against Madhya Pradesh © Getty
Defending champions Karnataka were knocked out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018/19 with rain playing spoilsport in their clash against Railways in Alur on Thursday (October 4). In a must-win game, Karnataka were put in to bat and their new opening pair of Naveen MG and Abhishek Reddy blazed away to a 66-run stand, setting up a good platform.
But they lost their way a bit in the middle overs as Railways’ duo of Manjeet Singh and Manish Rao inflicted damages with two scalps each and skipper Manish Pandey ran himself out which saw Karnataka slip to 173 for five. Shreyas Gopal (35) and Sharath BR (28) steadied the ship for a while before the heavens opened up and never ceased, denting Karnataka’s hopes of making it to the next round. On the other hand, Railways continue to remain at the bottom, still searching for their first win in the tournament.
Brief scores: Karnataka 229/5 in 43.3 overs (Mir Kaunain Abbas 46, Shreyas Gopal 35; Manish Rao 2-32, Manjeet Singh 2-30) vs Railways. No Result.
Weather gods showed no mercy as the Punjab vs Goa clash yielded no-result at the KSCA Cricket (2) Ground in Alur. Riding on Anmolpreet Singh’s magnificent 141, coupled by fifties from Shubman Gill (73) and Mandeep Singh (60) powered Punjab to a massive total of 359 for four.
In reply, skipper Amogh Sunil Desai eased the nerves in the Goa camp after they lost two early wickets. They moved to 40 for two in ten overs before rain hampered the proceedings. This result meant that Punjab need to win both their matches and hope for the other results to go their way in order to sneak in to the next ground, while Goa are already out of the tournament.
Brief scores: Punjab 359/4 in 50 overs (Anmolpreet Singh 141, Shubman Gill 73; Amit Verma 1-51, Felix Alemao 1-58) vs Goa 46/2 in 10 overs (Amogh Sunil Desai 30; Mayank Markande 1-5, Siddarth Kaul 1-15). No Result.
Incessant rains in Alur meant that Baroda vs Himachal Pradesh contest too was called off. Prashant Chopra’s decision to bowl first was validated by their bowlers as Baroda were shot out for a scanty 153, courtesy Mayank Dagar’s fifer. Ayush Jamwal and Pankaj Jaiswal chipped in with two wickets each while Kanwar Abhinay Singh bagged one. Kedar Devdhar and Aditya Waghmode got Baroda off to a 67-run partnership for the first wicket and it appeared like they were set for a big total at that stage. But they hit a road block in the middle overs and the end result was a below-par total.
Priyanshu Khanduri (33) helped Himachal get off to a fine start in pursuit of 154, but lost his wicket to Lukman Meriwala in the 12th over. Rain intervened right after that wicket and refused to relent as the match was called off with both teams sharing points. The outcome of the game meant that Himachal’s chances of progressing to the knockouts were bleak while Baroda moved to 20 points with one game left.
Brief scores: Baroda 153 in 41.2 overs (Kedar Devdhar 41; Mayank Dagar 5-27) vs Himachal Pradesh 41/1 in 11.3 overs (Priyanshu Khanduri 33; Lukman Meriwala 1-19). No Result.
Nitish Rana’s century and Lalit Yadav’s five-wicket haul set up Delhi’s comfortable win over Madhya Pradesh in the Group B encounter at the Palam A Stadium. Having posted a total of 284 for 8, Delhi bowled out MP for 209 to secure a 75-run win. With five wins in seven games, Delhi became the first team to cross the 20-point mark from Group B, with their 22 points all but guaranteeing them a berth in the quarterfinals.
Opting to bat, Delhi rode on solid knocks from Gautam Gambhir and Unmukat Chand, who both scored 41, to get off to a positive start. The platform was capitalised by Rana and Dhruv Shorey, who added 147 for the third wicket to set up Delhi for a flourishing finish. However, losing wickets regularly in the death overs meant that Delhi could add only 40 in the last six overs, as Mihir Hirwani finished with a four-wicket haul.
Lalit Yadav then ran through the MP top order, accounting for three of their first four wickets, to reduce them to 57 for 4. Venkatesh Iyer’s fifty and his half-century stands with Anshul Tripathi and Saransh Jain led a rearguard action. But that wasn’t enough to prevent Delhi from registering their third win on the trot.
Brief scores: Delhi 284/8 in 50 overs (Nitish Rana 107, Dhruv Shorey 67; Mihir Hirwani 4-49) beat Madhya Pradesh 209 in 42.4 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 53, Saransh Jain 47; Lalit Yadav 5-25) by 75 runs.
A clinical bowling performance helped Odisha defend a total of 197 against Saurashtra, and in the process they impeded the qualification hopes of the Jaydev Shah-led side with a 52-run victory. With 12 points from six games, Saurashtra are currently placed fourth in Group B. With only five teams from Group A and B combined set to qualify for the quarterfinals, and several teams already having 20 points or more, Saurashtra’s hopes hang by a thread. Meanwhile, this was only Odisha’s second win of the season, with the Govinda Poddar-led team already out of the qualification race.
Opting to bat, Odisha suffered early setbacks as they lost their openers inside three overs. Poddar and Santanu Mishra steadied the ship with a 57-run stand for the third wicket but both fell in quick succession to leave Odisha reeling at 74 for 4 in the 22nd over. Biplab Samantray’s half-century and his 91-run association with Abhishek Raut ensured that Odisha put up some fight with the bat, although the latter’s 36 came at a strike-rate of less than 50, which prevented Odisha from injecting momentum to their innings. Jaydev Unadkat was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 3 for 39 from his 10 overs while Dharmendrasinh Jadeja and Yuvraj Chudasama chipped in with a couple of scalps.
The chase didn’t begin on a good note for Saurashtra, who lost Robin Uthappa early. A 57-run stand for the second wicket between Sheldon Jackson and Samarth Vyas kept Saurashtra on course before their innings derailed completely. Papu Roy struck twice in the 15th over to remove the set pair, which began Saurashtra’s slide as they lost six wickets even before reaching the 100-run mark. Poddar provided the finishing touches to Odisha’s comfortable victory, picking up the last two wickets to end up with 3 for 33 as Saurashtra were bowled out for 145 with 11.2 overs still remaining in their innings.
Brief scores: Odisha 197 in 49.2 overs (Biplab Samantray 62, Govinda Poddar 33; Jaydev Unadkat 3-39) beat Saurashtra Sheldon Jackson 40, Aarpit Vasavada 35; Govinda Poddar 3-33) by 52 runs.
Kerala kept afloat their slim hopes of qualifying for the next round through a one-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh. Having posted a total of 228, after a 101-ball 82 from VA Jagadeesh, Kerala overcame a fighting 66 from Suresh Raina as UP lost their last wicket off the penultimate delivery of the game with two required for victory. The loss was UP’s fourth of the season in seven games, to go with two of their matches which yielded no results.
Asked to bat, Kerala were off to a promising start with the openers adding 50 before Saurabh Kumar ran through the top order, picking up three wickets to reduce them to 78 for 4. The quick wickets meant that Kerala had to go into damage control mode, which slowed had a bearing on the scoring rate despite Jagadeesh and Salman Nizar stemming the rot with a 94-run stand. But Kerala were able to accelerate in the death overs thanks to Jagadeesh, who having scored his fifty off 83 deliveries, took only 18 deliveries for his next 30 runs that helped Kerala finish with a competitive total.
UP lost two early wickets in the chase before Samarth Singh and Raina resurrected the innings with a 76-run stand. A 51-run association between Raina and Akshdeep Nath continued the good work before Raina’s run out triggered a collapse as UP lost four wickets for the addition of only 12 runs. UP still managed to keep the fight on but Rinku Singh’s fighting 33 and Ankit Rajpoot’s unbeaten 13 eventually came in a losing cause when No. 11 Yash Dayal fell to Akshay Chandran.
Brief scores: Kerala 228 in 50 overs (VA Jagadeesh 82, Salman Nizar 43; Saurabh Kumar 3-31) beat Uttar Pradesh 227 in 49.5 overs (Suresh Raina 66, Samarth Singh 42; Jalaj Saxena 2-31) by 1 run.
Bihar consolidated their top spot in the Plate group with an eight-wicket win over Manipur in Round 10. Chasing 173, Bihar required just 29.1 overs to scale the target after an unbeaten century from Babul Kumar and a fifty from MD Rahmat Ullah. With 26 points from seven games, Bihar have further strengthened their bid to qualify for the quarterfinals. With 20 points and two games in hand, Uttarakhand are the only challengers for Bihar for a spot in the next round.
Yashpal Singh’s unbeaten 134 was the only highlight in an otherwise sorry scorecard for Manipur, with the next-best being 17 from R Rex Singh. That, after opting to bat at the GS Patel Stadium in Nadiad. Rex was also the only other batsman to have entered double figures as Manipur finished with three ducks and a slew of low scores to end their 50 overs for just 172 on the board. Rehan Khan had three wickets, while Anunay Singh and Ashutosh Aman bagged two apiece.
In reply, Bihar opener Kumar Mridul fell in the third over, but Babul and Rahmat Ullah stitched together an unbeaten stand of 128 for the third wicket to take their side over the line. Babul had 15 fours and a six, unbeaten on 100, while Rahmat Ullah remained not out on 50 off 48.
Brief scores: Manipur 172/8 in 50 overs (Yashpal Singh 134*; Rehan Khan 3-39) lost to Bihar 176/2 in 29.1 overs (Babul Kumar 100*, MD Rahmat Ullah 50*) by 8 wickets.
Akshay Jain’s five-wicket haul, along with Fabid Ahmed’s four, helped Puducherry bundle Arunachal Pradesh for a meek 95 in 34.1 overs in their Vijay Hazare Round 10, Plate clash at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara. Puducherry cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket win after requiring just 18.2 overs to chase down the target. However, Bihar’s win against Manipur put paid to Puducherry’s qualification hopes.
Puducherry, who are placed second on the points table with two washed out games, picked up their fourth win in seven games. After losing opener and skipper D Rohit early, Narayanan and Abhishek Nayar added 83 for the second wicket, to take the side over the line. Nayar remained unbeaten on 65 off 54 balls.
Earlier, after opting to bat, besides opener Samrath Seth, who top-scored with 32, only fellow opener Techi Doria and skipper Kamsha Yangfo reached double figures, while the rest of the line-up couldn’t cross the six-run mark. Following a solid fifty-run stand at the top, what followed was a collapse of monumental proportions as wickets tumbled like ten-pins. There were as many as four ducks among the other eight batters, as Ahmed finished with exceptional figures of 4 for 8 in nine overs, while Jain had 5 for 13 in his ten.
Brief scores: Arunachal Pradesh 95 in 34.1 overs (Samrath Seth 32; Fabid Ahmed 4-8, Akshay Jain 5-13) lost to Puducherry 100/3 in 18.2 overs (Abhishek Nayar 65*) by 7 wickets.
Sikkim are stuck firmly to the bottom of the table after their seventh loss in as many games. This time, coming at the hands of Meghalaya, who set them a daunting 316 to win. In reply, Sikkim could only manage 166 for 9, handing Meghalaya a 169-run win.
Wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht’s 106-ball 149 led Meghalaya’s onslaught after they opted to bat. The early wicket of Bablu Passah didn’t put them off as they went strength to strength with Bisht and skipper Jason Lamare (55) adding 145 for the third wicket, before the keeper fell a run short of a 150. The skipper was run out with three overs left in the innings, taking his side close to the 300-run mark. A quickfire 44 off 30 balls from Yogesh Nagar gave them the impetus towards the end to take them to an imposing total.
In reply, it was only Sikkim’s middle order that really stood up to the task of chasing down a big total. Yet, none of them could capitalise on the starts they got. Lee Yong Lepcha top-scored with 36, while Bijay Subba finished next-best with 27. Gurinder Singh’s four-wicket haul, that accounted for the middle order, disrupted their chase. At 129 for 7 in the 32nd over, one would’ve thought it was just a matter of time for them to be bundled out. However, Sikkim did manage to bat out their 50 overs, finishing with 166 for 9.
Brief scores: Meghalaya 315/5 in 50 overs (Puneet Bisht 149, Jason Lamare 55) beat Sikkim 166/9 in 50 overs (Lee Yong Lepcha 36; Gurinder Singh 4-20) by 149 runs.