Vijay Hazare Trophy: Mishra spins Haryana to victory

Mishra made the Assam batsmen dance to his tunes as he returned with figures of 10-2-13-6. Assam could only muster 81 runs and lost by eight wickets.

Amit Mishra took six wickets to help Haryana clinch victory against Assam.   -  K. Pichumani

Haryana leg-spinner Amit Mishra hogged all the limelight on Friday as he bamboozled the Assam batsmen to help his team coast to an eight-wicket victory in a Vijay Hazare Trophy league match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19, Day 3 Round-up

Mishra made the Assam batsmen dance to his tunes as he returned with figures of 10-2-13-6. With paceman Arun Chaprana rocking the Assam top-order with a spell of 5-1-4-3, Assam could only muster 81 runs, after it won the toss and chose to bat first.

Harshal Patel (37 off 21 balls, 2x4, 4x6) and Shubham Rohilla (31 off 30 balls, 4x4) ran riot as Haryana triumphed by eight wickets with more than 38 overs to spare. Assam opener Riyan Parag (24 off 35 balls) and Parviz Aziz (13 off 23 balls) got their team off to a steady start by scoring 39 runs in the first 8 overs. Just when it seemed that the batsmen had got their eye in, Aziz took on Chaprana only to find Mishra pouch a catch at gully. Chaprana accounted for Gokul Sharma in the next ball when the batsman tried to glance a delivery, going down the leg side, only for wicketkeeper Nitin Saini to take a clean catch.

Parag soon followed his teammates when a forceful pull from him found Himanshu Rana at short midwicket.

It was then Mishra's game as he cleaned the middle order in a single spell of 10 overs.

While Sibsankar Roy (3 off 10 balls) failed to read a googly, Amit Sinha (2 off 33 balls) had no clue to an arm ball and edged it to the slip cordon. Similarly, Romario Sharma (4 off 21 balls) and Wasiqur Rahman (5 off 11 balls) had no answers to Mishra's brilliance and ended up departing after offering a catch in the slips and failing to read a googly, respectively.

Jitumoni Kalia (9 off 16 balls) and Abu Nechim Ahmed (2 off 9 balls) departed in quick succession without much trouble as Assam slipped from 39/0 to 69/9 in a space of 20 overs.

Mishra said the wicket was a tricky one. "Line and length are the most crucial aspects on this wicket. There was some purchase for the spinners but the wicket was also slow. If a spinner errs in line and length, scoring runs become easy on this wicket," Mishra said after the match.

Playing at a neutral venue, Mishra said game plans evolved as the Assam innings progressed. "We planned after playing for some time on this wicket. We knew that the fast bowlers were not doing much and we decided to operate the spinners soon. That is why in the first 5-6 overs, there were no wickets," Mishra explained.

"The strategy was just to keep the pressure building by bowling in good areas and stopping the boundaries. Wickets then came by as we did the right things," he added.

Assam coach Syed Zakaria Zuffri said the inability of the batsmen to follow the game plan cost them dear. "It wasn't an unplayable wicket. We just went into a shell and got overly defensive against the spinners. Mishra bowled well but we could have done much better to put up a decent fight," he said.

Brief scores - Elite Group C
Assam 81 in 30.2 overs (Riyan Parag 24, Amit Mishra 6/13, Arun Chaprana 3/4) lost to Haryana 83/2 in 11.2 overs (Harshal Patel 37, S Rohilla 31).
Tamil Nadu 315/4 in 50 overs (N. Jagadeesan 133, Indrajith 76*, Abhinav Mukund 69, Varun Choudhary 3/63) bt Services 232 in 46 overs (Nakul Verma 60, Rajat Paliwal 52, C.V. Varun 5/38, B. Aparajith 3/29). 
Jammu and Kashmir 79 in 30 overs (Ahmad Omar 24, Harmeet Singh 5/10, Neelambuj Vats 3/17) lost to Tripura 81/6 in 30.5 overs (N. Sen Choudhury 24). 

  Dugout videos