One-wicket win keeps Hyderabad's hopes alive

Chasing 248, Hyderabad was off to a 119-run start, thanks to Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath Reddy. Later, when Odisha bounced back by taking wickets at regular intervals, Sumanth played sensibly to take Hyderabad home, in style.

Hyderabad's Tanmay Agarwal plays a shot against Odisha at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

It took a last-over six by K. Sumanth to take Hyderabad to a one-wicket victory over Odisha in a thrilling Vijay Hazare league match at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday.

Chasing 248, Hyderabad was off to a 119-run start, thanks to Tanmay Agarwal (76, 89b, 7x4, 2x6) and Akshath Reddy (63, 61b, 7x4, 3x6). Later, when Odisha bounced back by taking wickets at regular intervals, Sumanth (43 not out, 51b, 1x6, 3x4) played sensibly to take Hyderabad home, in style.

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Hyderabad was facing a must-win situation to keep alive its hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals. The victory helped Hyderabad finish its league engagements with 22 points.

To be among the five qualifiers, among 18 teams from Group ‘A’ and ‘B’, Hyderabad will pray for either Andhra or Baroda to lose its final league match. On Monday, Baroda plays Maharashtra and Andhra faces Madhya Pradesh.

As things stand, Mumbai has topped the qualifying race with 28 points. Delhi, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Andhra (22 each) and Baroda (20) are in the hunt for the other four spots.

As it happened

On this day, Hyderabad owed success to its ability to stay above the required run-rate after the flying start offered by the half-centurion openers.

But all credit to the Odisha bowlers for not giving up hope under the early onslaught. Their persistence paid dividends and they were never without a hope until the winning came off with four deliveries to spare.

The grit of Odisha came to the fore even when it batted. After Govinda Poddar (93, 108b, 10x4, 2x6) set the pace, Abhishek Raut (34, 30b, 2x4, 2x6) made amends for the laborious effort of Subhransu Senapati (41, 76b, 2x4, 1x6). If the team managed to reach a fighting total, it was due to Suryakant Pradhan’s seven-ball 21 as the last eight balls
produced 25 runs.

Later, when Hyderabad slipped from 119 for no loss to 201 for seven in the 40th over, Odisha was upbeat. However, new-man Saaketh joined a well-set Sumanth and contributed a 22-ball 20 including two sixes during their 34-run stand to keep the team ahead.

Sumanth, who lost the company of Saaketh and Mehdi Hasan in the 47th and 49th over, kept his cool after last-man Ravi Kiran handed him the strike with four runs needed off the last five deliveries and smashed the winning six.
 

Brief scores:

Odisha 247 for eight in 50 overs (Govinda Poddar 93, Subhransu Senapati 41, Abhishek Raut 34, Biplab Samantaray 31, C. V. Milind six for 43) lost to Hyderabad 250 for nine in 49.2 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 76, Akshath Reddy 63, K. Sumanth 43 not out, Pappu Roy three for 38) by one wicket.

Toss: Odisha

Points: Hyderabad (22) 4; Odisha (10) 0.