Hanuma Vihari laid anchor and K. S. Bharat gave him good support as Andhra chased down 152 comfortably on the final day at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here to record a six-wicket win.
The task wasn’t very straightforward, however, as Rajasthan’s seamers were in the ascendant in the morning session and for some time in the afternoon. After a luckless period in which edges seemed close but elusive, the home team was back in the contest in the 25th over.
Left-arm quick Aniket Choudhary dismissed opener D. B. Prashanth Kumar by making him edge behind and immediately after fired in a full delivery to dismiss Ricky Bhui lbw, for a duck.
Vihari had by this time stayed in the crease for a considerable period, and found a useful ally in Bharat. Soon enough, the two began to score boundaries through drives and flicks. Vihari’s drive through extra-cover off Rituraj Singh in the 24th over was especially delightful; the ball bisected cover and mid-off nicely to run away to the boundary.
In the 32nd over, Bharat played an assertive stroke – a slap through extra-cover – off Khaleel Ahmed to collect a boundary. By the 35th over, the shift in momentum was palpable; Bharat pulled Khaleel for a four through midwicket, unleashed the straight-drive, and then pulled once again, this time for six. Runs came at a canter from this point onwards, and both batsmen reached their half-centuries before Andhra reached its target.
Bharat paid the price for his cavalier approach, stumped by the wicket-keeper after he stepped down the pitch to left-arm spinner Mahipal Lomror supposedly to hit a huge six. Vihari and Karan Shinde saw Andhra home before tea.
Rajasthan folded quickly in the morning after resuming on 243 for 8. Within 11 overs in the morning, the last two wickets had been taken. Aniket Choudhary was the first to go, dismissed bowled by P. Vijay Kumar. It was a delivery that seemed to have come in after pitching; the ball breached his defences and hit the stumps. Salman Khan edged behind off K. V. Sasikanth soon after.
Both teams have been penalised by the match referee for a slow over-rate in the contest.
Rajasthan – 1st innings: Y. B. Kothari c Bharat b Sasikanth 11, Chetan Bist lbw Sasikanth 10, Mahipal Lomror c Gnaneswar b Stephen 15, Robin Bist lbw Sasikanth 0, Ashok Menaria c Vihari b Sasikanth 74, Rajesh Bishnoi b Stephen 0, Salman Khan c Vihari b Stephen 0, Rituraj Singh b Stephen 5, Tanveer-ul-Haq c Gnaneswar b Vijay Kumar 13, Aniket Choudhary run out 7, Khaleel Ahmed (not out) 6, Extras (lb-10) 10. Total (in 49.5 overs) 151.
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-27, 3-27, 4-41, 5-47, 6-57, 7-79, 8-112, 9-122.
Andhra bowling: Vijay Kumar 13-4-24-1, Stephen 20-4-67-4, Sasikanth 16.5-3-50-4.
Andhra – 1st innings: C. R. Gnaneshwar lbw Kothari 73, D. B. Prashanth Kumar c C. Bist b Rituraj 31, Hanuma Vihari c C. Bist b Rituraj 0, Ricky Bhui lbw Rituraj 10, K. S. Bharat c R. Bist b Rituraj 52, Karan Shinde lbw Khaleel 3, Jyothi Sai Krishna c sub b Haq 7, Shoaib Mohammed Khan run out 1, K. V. Sasikanth lbw Lomror 54, C. V. Stephen b Lomror 10, P. Vijay Kumar (not out) 1, Extras (nb 5, b 1, lb 9) 15. Total (in 91.5 overs) 257.
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-61, 3-82, 4-177, 5-180, 6-182, 7-185, 8-201, 9-256.
Rajasthan bowling: Haq 20-6-60-1, Choudhary 17-1-61-0, Khaleel 23-4-65-1, Rituraj 26-9-36-4, Lomror 4.5-0-24-2, Kothari 1-0-1-1.
Rajasthan-2nd innings: Yash Kothari c Bharat b Sasikanth 41, Chetan Bist lbw Sasikanth 9, Tanveer-ul-Haq c Vijay Kumar b Shoaib 1, Mahipal Lomror run out 4, Robin Bist c Vihari b Stephen 30, Ashok Menaria c Vihari b Stephen 79, Rajesh Bishnoi lbw Stephen 49, Salman Khan c Bharat b Sasikanth 21, Rituraj Singh c Krishna b Vijay Kumar 2, Aniket Choudhary b P. Vijay Kumar 9, Khaleel Ahmed (not out) 0, Extras (lb 11, w 1) 12. Total (in 106.1 overs) 257.
Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-15, 3-26, 4-88, 5-96, 6-199, 7-235, 8-243, 9-255.
Andhra bowling: P. Vijay Kumar 27-10-56-2, C. V. Stephen 27-8-78-3, K. V. Sasikanth 36.1-13-66-3, Mohammed Shoaib 16-1-46-1.
Andhra-2nd innings: C. R. Gnaneshwar c C. Bist b Rituraj 11, D. B. Prashanth Kumar c C. Bist b Choudhary 19, Hanuma Vihari (not out) 52, Ricky Bhui lbw Choudhary 0, K. S. Bharat st C. Bist b Lomror 50, Karan Shinde (not out) 14, Extras (b 4, lb 1, nb 1) 6. Total (for four wickets in 49.5 overs) 152.
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