Vijay Hazare Trophy: Andhra beats Kerala to stay in contention for a knockout berth

Chasing 260, Kerala’s top-order was rocked by speedsters Harishankar Reddy and Ayyappa. In-form batters, including Rohan S. Kunnummal, perished cheaply as their side was reduced to 26/4.

Andhra bowler Harishankar Reddy celebrates after picking up a wicket against Hyderabad in the South Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 Championship at ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on January 12, 2018.

Andhra bowler Harishankar Reddy celebrates after picking up a wicket against Hyderabad in the South Zone Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 Championship at ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on January 12, 2018. | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Chasing 260, Kerala’s top-order was rocked by speedsters Harishankar Reddy and Ayyappa. In-form batters, including Rohan S. Kunnummal, perished cheaply as their side was reduced to 26/4.

Andhra recorded a fine 76-run victory over Kerala to put itself back in contention for the knockout stages of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

Chasing 260, Kerala’s top-order was rocked by speedsters M. Harishankar Reddy (2/24) and B. Ayyappa (3/41). In-form batters, including Rohan S. Kunnummal, perished cheaply as their side was reduced to 26/4.

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Sachin Baby (35, 59b, 2x4) and Akshay Chandran (41, 72b, 1x4) stabilised the ship with a 63-run partnership for the fifth wicket. But Hanuma Vihari’s part-time off-spin fetched Andhra the breakthrough as Baby dragged a wide delivery on to his stumps.

Ayyappa then came up with a fine throw from deep backward square-leg to run out Akshay to knock the wind out of Kerala’s sails.

Earlier, after electing to field, Kerala seemed largely in control, having dismissed six Andhra batters for 184 by the 39th over. But a late flourish from K. Nithish Kumar Reddy (31, 28b, 2x4, 1x6) and the bottom-four (48 combined runs) took the total past 250, which ultimately proved more than adequate.

At Alur, N. Jagadeesan scored his fourth successive List A century (128, 123b, 6x4, 6x6) as Tamil Nadu handed table-topping Haryana its first loss of the campaign – a comprehensive 151-run defeat.

Wicketkeeper batter Jagadeesan then effected five dismissals to go with the hundred, the second time he has achieved the twin distinction this season (first against Andhra).

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After being put into bat, the Tamil Nadu opening duo of Jagadeesan and B. Sai Sudharsan (67, 74b, 5x4, 1x6) put on their fourth-century partnership in a row (151 runs).

A collapse ensued, as the side lost four wickets for 35 runs. But M. Shahrukh Khan’s 46 (54b, 5x4) brought Tamil Nadu back on track before the bowlers, like siblings who believe in sharing and caring, split the wickets pretty evenly to usher in the defeat.

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