Vijay Hazare Trophy: Saurabh Tiwary shines as Jharkhand beats Hyderabad

The southpaw steers Jharkhand to a six-wicket win at the Just Cricket Ground. Ambati Rayudu’s half-century goes in vain.

Match-winning hand: Saurabh Tiwary en route to his unbeaten 61 at the Just Cricket Ground on Saturday.   -  N. Sudarshan

Saurabh Tiwary, with an unbeaten half-century (61 n.o., 47b, 7x4, 1x6), led Jharkhand to a six-wicket win over Hyderabad in the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Saturday. In a rain-curtailed 34-overs-a-side affair at the Just Cricket Ground, Hyderabad, after opting to bat, scored 192 only to see Jharkhand chase it down with two balls to spare.

With Jharkhand needing 23 from three overs, Tiwary smashed three successive fours off speedster Mohammed Siraj to bring his side within touching distance. Two of those came in the cover region while the other was a slap straight over the bowler’s head. When a thick inside edge from southpaw Virat Singh (24 n.o., 30b, 1x4) raced to the square boundary off the first ball of the last over from spinner Mehdi Hasan, the match was as good as over.

AS IT HAPPENED

Jharkhand was in fact in a spot of bother when two set batsmen in Kumar Deobrat (56, 55b, 5x4, 4x6) and Ishan Kishan (31, 43b, 1x4, 1x4) departed in quick succession (115 for four). The duo had steadied the innings from 27 for two, though Deobrat was reprieved when still on nine, dropped by Tanmay Agarwal in the slips off Siraj.

Recovery act

But an unbroken 78-run stand for the fifth wicket between Tiwary and Virat grounded a high-flying Hyderabad, basking in its victory over Karnataka in the previous game, and denied the outfit an opportunity to go top of the table.

“Every team would want an experienced player like Saurabh to be out there in that kind of a situation,” said Deobrat later. “We lost early wickets but were still in control. The way we finished it off, it was pleasing.”

Earlier, Ambati Rayudu held the Hyderabad innings together yet again, scoring a breezy 69 (54, 3x4, 4x6). But he was let down by his team-mates, none of whom capitalised on starts. Openers Tanmay and Akshath Reddy put on 65 runs but were dismissed in a space of nine balls. Tilak Varma and B. Sandeep both fell in the 20s. Rayudu’s dismissal towards the end resulted in Hyderabad adding only six runs from the last two overs.

‘Very disappointed’

“Very disappointed with the result,” said Siraj later. “Two or three balls in the end changed it. After the Karnataka win our confidence was very high. But we shouldn't get bogged down. We took the match till the last over. These things happen in cricket.”

Meanwhile, at the Alur grounds, Mumbai was left to digest a second successive washout after its match against Andhra witnessed just 8.2 overs of play. Overnight rain had reduced the match to a 21-over affair before another downpour brought the curtains down.

The scores - Group A (Bengaluru)

Hyderabad 192 for seven in 34 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 34, Ambati Rayudu 69) lost to Jharkhand 193 for four in 33.4 overs (Kumar Deobrat 56, Ishan Kishan 31, Saurabh Tiwary 61 n.o.) by six wickets.

Andhra 51 for two in 8.2 overs (D. B. Prashanth Kumar 30 n.o.) vs. Mumbai [No result].