Vijay Hazare Trophy: Hyderabad needs a win to reach knockouts

A win will enable Hyderabad to move into the quarterfinals. In case Hyderabad loses to Services and Jharkhand (12 points) beats Jammu and Kashmir at Kalyani, then both teams will be tied on 16 points and the one with better net run rate will advance to the knockout stage.

Hyderabad needs an all-round performance to make it to the knockout stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.   -  File Photo: K. Pichumani

Hyderabad will have to forget its first loss to Karnataka quickly in order to focus on its all-important Group D engagement against Services at the Eden Gardens here on Monday.

Hyderabad had won close matches against Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, but could not do so against Karnataka in a low-scoring encounter on Saturday. The loss would have hurt Hyderabad as it could not the wrap up Karnataka innings despite reducing it to 65 for eight.

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Karnataka went on to achieve the winning total of 109 runs for the loss of nine wickets and secured 20 points from five wins to qualify for the knockout phase.

A few positives from the defeat may encourage Hyderabad though. It showed a lot of fighting spirit in defending a meagre total of 108 and its bowlers again proved their worth by tormenting the opposition batsmen.

In fact, Hyderabad has been greatly benefitted from the fine job of its bowlers—Including the pace trio of Ravi Kiran, C. V. Milind and Mohammed Siraj and left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan—who share 43 wickets among themselves. The bowlers have played crucial roles in helping their team notch up 16 points from four victories in five matches and will love to give their best in the last group outing.

Thanks to the good showing of Akshath Reddy (256 runs) and K. Sumanth (175), Hyderabad batsmen have put up some sound aggregates in the midst of some inconsistency. They need to raise the bar against Services, which has some hardworking bowlers in its ranks.

A win will enable Hyderabad to move into the quarterfinals. In case Hyderabad loses to Services and Jharkhand (12 points) beats Jammu and Kashmir at Kalyani, then both teams will be tied on 16 points and the one with better net run rate will advance to the knockout stage.

Karnataka may try to test its bench strength in its final group engagement against Chhattisgarh, at the Jadavpur University ground, ahead of the quarterfinals.

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