Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 Group C: Andhra returns to winning ways 

Andhra returned to winning ways in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as it defeated Jharkhand by eight runs in an Elite Group C fixture on Saturday. 

File picture of K.S. Bharat.   -  WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA

Andhra returned to winning ways in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as it defeated Jharkhand by eight runs in an Elite Group C fixture on Saturday. 

After a winning start against Jammu and Kashmir in the opening fixture, Andhra went down to Haryana in its last outing. However, at the FB Colony Ground, the team displayed quality cricket to get its campaign back on track. Put in to bat first, openers K.S. Bharat (48, 47b, 5x4) and Ashwin Hebbar (45, 42b; 6x4) stitched an 85-run stand, which laid a solid foundation. 

Andhra lost a couple of quick wickets after the openers were dismissed, but the seasoned Ricky Bhui (34 not out, 15b; 3x4, 2x6) played a quickfire innings to take the team to a competitive total of 165-4.

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In its chase, Jharkhand got off to a solid start with openers Ishank Jaggi (62, 39b; 9x4, 1x6) and Utkarsh Singh (43, 42b; 6x4) putting up 109 runs in just 12 overs. However, things went haywire after they fell to Harishankar Reddy - who bagged three wickets, conceding 24 runs. From being steady at 109-0, Jharkhand suffered a middle-order collapse as none of its seasoned batters could chip in. 

Even though Anukul Roy played a quickfire 16 off nine deliveries, it was not enough to guide the team home. With Reddy and Cheepurapalli Stephen claiming three wickets each, Jharkhand fell eight runs short. 

Hooda, Lomror guide Rajasthan to win 

Earlier in the day, Deepak Hooda played yet another blitzkrieg innings - 70 not out off 36 balls - as Rajasthan defeated Himachal Pradesh by seven wickets. After restricting Himachal to 136-6, Rajasthan lost openers Aditya Garhwal (4) and Ankit Lamba (2) early and was reeling at 18-2. 

But once again, it was Hooda and captain Mahipal Lomror (55, 39b; 6x4, 2x6), who came to the rescue. The two stitched a partnership of 111 runs to ensure there was no slip-up. Even after Lomror’s - who was the stand-in captain for the game - dismissal, Hooda stood firm to guide the team home. 

Malik, Rasool star in J&K’s victory 

In the other match, a 4-22 by Umran Malik and a three-wicket haul by Parvez Rasool helped Jammu and Kashmir beat Haryana by seven wickets. With Malik and Rasool ripping apart the batting department, Haryana was bundled out for 108. In its chase, Rasool remained unbeaten on 34 to ensure an easy win.

Summarised scores

Elite C (Vadodara): Haryana 108 in 19 overs (Parvez Rasool 3/18, Umran Malik 4/22) lost to
Jammu & Kashmir 109/3 in 17 overs (Parvez Rasool 34 n.o.).

Himachal 136/6 in 20 overs (Prashant Chopra 53) lost to Rajasthan 141/3 in 14.4 overs (Mahipal Lomror 55, Deepak Hooda 70 n.o.).

Andhra 165/4 in 20 overs (Ashwin Hebbar 45, K.S. Bharat 48, Ricky Bhui 34 n.o.) bt Jharkhand 157/9 in 20 overs (Ishank Jaggi 62, Utkarsh Singh 43, C.V. Stephen 3/23, Harishankar Reddy 3/24).

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