Vihari blitz helps Andhra maintain unbeaten run

Hanuma Vihari’s 118-ball 169 steered Andhra to a 29-run win over Mumbai in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C match.

Hanuma Vihari smashes 16 fours and seven sixes in his knock.   -  K. Pichumani (File Photo)

G. Hanuma Vihari led from the front to help Andhra defeat Mumbai by 29 runs in a Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C match on Wednesday. With the result, Andhra maintained its unbeaten run in the league stage to top its group.

The skipper produced a brilliant innings, slamming 169 off 118 balls with 16 fours and seven sixes. At the other end, K. S. Bharat, too, made merry, slamming his second ton in as many matches; the duo put on 254 runs off 204 balls for the second wicket. For Mumbai, Siddhesh Lad once again played a brilliant knock in a difficult situation and slammed his third ton (118, 98b, 6x4, 4x6) of the tournament but for the second time in this event, his efforts went in vain.

Spectacle

In the first 10 overs, Mumbai bowled tightly before Vihari’s counter-attack deflated the bowlers. Mumbai started with spinner Dhrumil Matkar at one end and the left-arm spinner castled Ashwin Hebbar. Vihari quickly got to his fifty off just 57 balls with five boundaries before cutting loose. What followed was a spectacle in clean hitting as Vihari went after spinners and medium pacers alike with disdain. He slammed two huge sixes out of the park over the extra-cover region off Dhrumil Matkar.

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He got to his 100 off just 81 balls and stepped up another gear post his ton. Vihari got to his 150 with an 18-run over off Dias, a six and three boundaries to move him past the third landmark of the day for him.

The Andhra team congregates after its win on Wednesday. Photo: S. Dipak Ragav

 

Mumbai started off positively, with Prithvi Shaw playing some delightful shots during his 31-run cameo. Soon after, I. Karthik Raman removed the openers - Jay Bista and Shaw - with short-pitched deliveries. Suryakumar Yadav looked good during his brief stay but his innings was cut short by a beautiful piece of fielding by Naren Reddy off his own bowling at the non-striker’s end after fielding the ball that was hit to him by Lad. Reddy quickly back-flicked it and caught Yadav napping.

Smart knock

However, Lad kept his side’s chances alive playing a blinder of an innings that was smarter than just brute force. While there was some clean hitting - such as two sixes hit over mid-wicket off medium-pacer Girinath Reddy - Lad’s innings was built on some enterprising cricket and hard running between the wickets. He got his 100 off just 86 balls and at that point had only four fours and four sixes.

He was supported by Shivam Dube and Shubham Ranjane and kept his side in the hunt even though the asking rate was close to 10. But once he was dismissed, the chase fizzled out.

The scores
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