SMAT 2021: Bishnoi hat-trick gives Rajasthan win over Andhra

Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Bishnoi's hat-trick derailed Andhra's chase early on and it went onto lose by 11 runs.

File image of Ravi Bishnoi playing for Punjab Kings in the IPL.

Ravi Bishnoi’s hat-trick guided Rajasthan to its fourth successive win in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, as it defeated Andhra by 11 runs in a thrilling Elite Group C encounter on Monday.

Defending 149, Rahasthan removed Andhra lost captain K.S. Bharat early on. While Andhra needed a steady partnership to get going, it was Bishnoi who rattled the opponent. 

He cleaned up Ashwin Hebbar (15, 16b; 2x4) and Ricky Bhui (0), and trapped Pinninit Tapaswi (0) leg before as Andhra was reeling at 25-4 in 4.4 overs.

While Bishnoi was the star of the match, he was ably supported by Shubham Sharma - who scalped three wickets for 16 runs. With Sharma and Bishnoi ripping apart the middle-order, Andhra lost seven wickets for just 65 runs.

At a time when it looked as if Andhra would meekly surrender, K.V. Sasikanth (47 not out, 24b; 3x4, 4x6) and K. Nithish Kumar Reddy (38, 43b; 1x4, 2x6) stitched a 65-run partnership to spice things up. However, with Kamlesh Nagarkoti dismissing Reddy in the last ball of the penultimate over, Andhra was restricted to 138-8.

Earlier in the day, Rajasthan opted to bat after winning the toss, but it lost two quick wickets in Aditya Garhwal (0) and captain Ashok Menaria (4). However, Mahipal Lomror’s 69 (45b; 6x4, 2x6) and Yash Kothari’s 25 (24b; 3x4) helped the side regroup and eventually post a competitive total of 149. After stitching a 50-run stand with Kothari, the seasoned Lomror built a crucial 49-run partnership with Deepak Hooda (21, 16b; 3x4). However, after Hooda’s exit, ther was a middle-order collapse.

In other fixtures, Ishank Jaggi’s 51 and Saurabh Tiwary’s unbeaten 58 guided Jharkhand to a 16-run win against Haryana, while Himachal Pradesh defeated Jammu and Kashmir by four runs.

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