Gujarat skipper and opener Priyank Panchal showed the way with a masterly 134 and set up his team’s massive 117-run triumph over Andhra Pradesh in the Vijay Hazare (50-over) quarterfinals at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground here on Monday.
Winning the toss and opting to bat, Panchal’s knock off 131 balls wasdotted with 10 boundaries and two sixes in a tally of 299 for seven in 50 overs. ‘In response, Andhra lost wickets at regular intervals andits innings folded at 182 in 41.2 overs. Ricky Bhui was the only one to display some resolve to score 67 runs on a batting pitch.
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Medium pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla removed Andhra openers and sent back skipper Hanuma Vihari for a duck to keep the rival on the backfoot. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who scalped Bhui, finished with three wickets. In fact, the match never really rose as a contest.
Panchal was clearly the hero of the day. Before being the last wicket to fall in the 49th over, he raised 80 runs for the second wicket with Rahul Shah (36, 3x4), 53 for third wicket with Het Patel (28, 2x4) and another 57 with Ripal Patel (35, 2x4, 2x6) to keep Andhra at bay.
Tomorrow's fixtures (quarterfinals): Delhi v Uttar Pradesh; Mumbai v Saurashtra.