Vijay Hazare Trophy: KS Bharat century lifts Andhra over Himachal; Gujarat beats Vidarbha in Group A

Riding on Bharat’s unbeaten 161 off 109 balls and Ashwin Hebbar’s 100, Andra piled on 322 for three before clinching a 30-run win on Sunday.

Bharat’s effort was the second-highest individual score in List A cricket for Andhra Pradesh. (FILE PHOTO)   -  The Hindu

K. Srikar Bharat’s record hundred and his 174-run partnership with opener Ashwin Hebbar set up Andhra’s 30-run win against Himachal Pradesh in its penultimate Group A game of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Sunday.

Riding on Bharat’s unbeaten 161 (109b, 16x4, 8x6) and Hebbar’s 100 (132b, 10x4), Andra piled on 322 for three at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex facility. Despite captain Rishi Dhawan (79, 61b, 7x4, 2x6) leading the Himachal chase, Girinath Reddy’s (4/52) early damage meant Himachal was bowled out for 292 in 46 overs.

Bharat’s effort was the second-highest individual score in List A cricket for Andhra Pradesh after Hanuma Vihari’s 169 (vs Mumbai at Chennai in 2017-18). More importantly, Bharat ensured Andhra had a glimmer of hope to qualify for the knockouts. It will now have to beat Gujarat by a huge margin and then hope for the other results to go its way.

READ: Vijay Hazare Trophy HIGHLIGHTS: Pondicherry edges out TN; Bengal thumps Mumbai; Delhi stuns Haryana

Despite having joined the Andhra squad straight from India’s Test squad, Bharat had a relatively quiet week in the tournament. He exploded on Sunday to display his skills with the willow are as good as - if not better than - his glovework.

J&K stuns Odisha

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Left-arm pacer Abid Mushtaq (5/38) starred for Jammu & Kashmir to stun table-topper Odisha and register its maiden win of the tournament at the Dadoji Kondadev Stadium in Thane. Mushtaq’s impressive spell meant Odisha was bundled out for 183 in 45 overs, chasing a target of 279.

With Gujarat overcoming Vidarbha in a run-feast at the Brabourne Stadium, the group has gotten wide open. Barring J & K, all other teams are in with a chance to finish in top two and progress to the knockouts.

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