Vijay Hazare Trophy: Andhra survives MP scare

Andhra Pradesh made heavy weather of a paltry chase but managed to scrape through by the skin of its teeth to post a two-wicket win over Madhya Pradesh in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C match at the MA Chidambaram stadium here on Sunday.

D. Siva Kumar scalped three to help Andhra restrict MP to 127 in Chennai on Sunday.   -  S. Dipak Ragav

 

Andhra Pradesh made heavy weather of a paltry chase but managed to scrape through by the skin of its teeth to post a two-wicket win over Madhya Pradesh in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C match at the MA Chidambaram stadium here on Sunday.

Earlier, D. Siva Kumar and B. Ayyappa picked up three wickets each as Andhra restricted MP to just 127. Winning the toss and electing to bowl, the two right-arm pacers made full use of the helpful conditions in the first hour of play to rattle the MP top-order.

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Siva Kumar set the tone of the innings as he bowled a brilliant first spell, finishing with figures of three for six from his first six overs that included three maidens. By the time he got his third wicket, MP was tottering at 11 for four before Saransh Jain and Parth Sahani arrested the slide.

The left-handed duo took the team past 50 before Sahani played a needless shot pulling Ayyappa straight down the throat of the square leg fielder. Ayyappa struck again in the same over and picked one more two overs later, to reduce MP to 63 for seven.

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At the other end, Jain slowly built his innings and cut loose after the fall of the eighth wicket making 56 to get his team past 100. Ishwar Pandey chipped in hitting two sixes.

After a close loss to Bengal on Saturday, Andhra had a chance to capitalise on a low target and boost its run rate. Instead, the top-order batsmen played loose shots and gave wickets away that needed a fighting knock from Hanuma Vihari to see it through.

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Ishwar Pandey struck twice in his first two overs, first inducing an unconvincing pull from K. S. Bharat to fine leg and then had D.B. Ravi Teja caught behind to put Andhra under pressure immediately.

Ricky Bhui and A. G. Pradeep threw their wickets away—Bhui trying an upper-cut and getting caught at third man and Pradeep caught at gully attempting a square cut—as Andhra slumped to 26 for four by the eleventh over.

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Even as wickets were falling at the other end, Vihari banked on his experience to stay calm as he built some partnerships, first a 38-run stand with D.G.J. Chaitanya for the fifth wicket and then a 30-run stand with Swaroop Kumar for the seventh wicket as Andhra slowly inched towards the target. Vihari, who walked in at three, remained unbeaten on 58 in a knock that included five boundaries.

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Gujarat drubs Goa

In another match, Gujarat pulled off a 78-run win against Goa at the IC-Guru Nanak Stadium. Having won the toss, Gujarat batted first and scored 277-9, with its skipper Parthiv Patel playing a knock of 80. Giving company to the skipper, Priyank Pachal scored 57. In reply, a knock of 64 by Snehal Kauthankar wasn’t enough for Goa, as it was bundled out for 199, thanks to a 5-38 by Rujul Bhatt.

Brief scores: Madhya Pradesh 127 in 40.2 overs (Saransh Jain 56, Siva Kumar 3-17, B. Ayyappa 3-33) lost to Andhra Pradesh 128-8 in 37.5 overs (G. Hanuma Vihari 58 not out, Ishwar Pandey 3-31).

At IC-Guru Nanak: Gujarat 277-9 (Parthiv Patel 80, Priyank Panchal 57; Rituraj Singh 3-61) beat Goa 199 in 45.5 overs (Amogh Desai 61, Snehal Kauthankar 64, Rujul Bhatt 5-38, Ishwar Chaudhary 3-34).