Hyderabad’s 110-run victory over Chandigarh proved in vain as Uttar Pradesh stunned table-topper Saurashtra by two wickets to advance to the knockout phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy cricket tournament here on Wednesday.
At the conclusion of the league, Saurashtra and UP (20 points each), made it to the knockout from Group A on superior Net Run Rate (NRR), after Hyderabad and Chandigarh also ended up with an identical tally.
For the record, Saurashtra topped with a NRR of 1.737, ahead of UP (0.604), Hyderabad (0.513) and Chandigarh (-0.031). Gujarat, Tripura (12 each), defending champion Himachal Pradesh (8) and Manipur (0) finished in that order.
Saurashtra will take on Tamil Nadu in the quarterfinals on November 28 after UP plays Mumbai in the one of the three pre-quarterfinals on November 26 in Ahmedabad.
In the day’s other two league matches, Gujarat crushed HP by eight wickets and Tripura inflicted a 240-run defeat on last-placed Manipur.
Hyderabad dominated Chandigarh after posting 306 for five, with Bhavesh Seth (71, 60b, 9x4), Rohit Rayudu (68, 92b, 4x4,3x6), B. Rahul (57 not out, 40b, 7x4) and Tanmay Agarwal 52 (75b, 6x4) toying with the Chandigarh bowling.
In response, Chandigarh was never in the hunt. The sixth-wicket stand between Gurinder Singh (59, 81b, 6x4) and Akshit Rana (44, 41b, 3x4, 1x6) delayed the inevitable. G. Aniketh Reddy (three for 21) and M. Shashank (three for 34) caused maximum damage.
Chasing Saurashtra’s 218 for nine, UP looked in deep trouble at 64 for five in the 19th over. But thereafter, a 147-run stand in 159 deliveries between Akshdeep Nath (89 n.o., 109b, 8x4, 1x6) and Saurabh Kumar (63, 65b, 6x4, 1x6) turned the match on its head. Earlier, Saurashtra struggled to stitch long partnerships and ended up putting up a sub-par total.