Left-arm pacer Cheepurapalli Stephen (3/46) and medium pacer Girinath Reddy (2/33) helped set up an easy seven-wicket win for Andhra over Tamil Nadu in the Elite Group B Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Holkar International Stadium here on Monday.
Electing to field, Andhra bundled out TN for just 176 before Ashwin Hebbar slammed a brilliant unbeaten 101 (84b, 11x4, 5x6) to help his side chase down the target in just 29.1 overs.
On helpful conditions, Stephen and Girinath reduced TN to just 82 for 5 by the 21st over and helped restrict last year’s runner-up to a modest score.
For TN, B. Aparajith (40) and R. Sonu Yadav (37) were the only bright spots with the bat as the duo added 56-runs for the sixth-wicket stand.
Later Andhra off-spinner Shoaib Mohammed Khan (3/24) joined the party removing Aparajith and Sonu which ended any hope of TN to score a competitive total.
In its chase, opener Hebbar led from the start and was later supported by wicketkeeper Ricky Bhui who slammed an unbeaten 52 (41b, 6x4, 2x6) with the duo adding an unbroken 114-run stand for the fourth-wicket.
TN coach D. Vasu said, “It was an important toss but our batsmen could have applied themselves a bit better because the first hour and half is always going to be tough.”
“It is a competitive group and we might not have a runway leader. So we just have to learn from this and focus on winning the next three games,” he added.
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