Andhra wins a thriller after Karn Sharma’s blitzkrieg

Andhra scored the 14 runs needed off Pankaj Rao’s final over despite losing game-changer Karn Sharma (55 runs) to the third ball, after the all-rounder smashed 10 runs off the first two deliveries.

Karn Sharma played a game-changing knock of 55 to tilt the match in Andhra's favour.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Andhra seems to be making a habit of coming out stronger in nail-biting finishes in this edition of Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Having escaped to a dramatic victory over Kerala in the opener, Andhra pulled off a last-ball two-wicket triumph after being outplayed by Chhattisgarh for the better part of Wednesday at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.

As it Happened

In a thrilling finish, Andhra scored the 14 runs needed off Pankaj Rao’s final over despite losing game-changer Karn Sharma (55, 29 balls, four sixes, three fours) to the third ball, after the all-rounder smashed 10 runs off the first two deliveries. But Andhra tailenders held their nerves and No. 10 Siva Kumar scored two runs off the final delivery to take his team over the line.

The victory took Andhra’s tally to 14 points from four outings. Chattisgarh remained at eight points from four matches. With Delhi suffering a shock loss at the hands of Odisha, Andhra now finds itself at the top of the points-table in Group ‘B’.

Chasing a challenging 249, Andhra could never keep up with the asking rate once opener Ashwin Hebbar departed after making 53 off the first 70 runs. It was only after the arrival of Karn, at 160 for six that Andhra innings found a second wind.

Karn joined Ravi Teja in the 41st over and went after the bowling. With Karn getting the big hits, the next 8.1 overs produced 74 runs and kept Andhra’s hopes alive. Teja, however, was bowled by Vishal Singh in the penultimate over after a 57-ball 53. Karn, who hoisted two sixes off Pankaj in the 48th over, hit a four and a six in the final over to bring down the equation to four runs off four deliveries. But Pankaj came back to find Karn’s stumps to keep Chhattisgarh in the game before Siva hit the winning runs.

Andhra’s fighting win pushed into the background a fine 110 by Chhattisgarh’s opener Ashutosh Singh, whose 125-ball knock included two sixes and eight fours. Importantly, he added 83 runs for the fifth wicket with Manoj Singh, who was out to the last ball of the innings for a fighting 60-ball 62, dotted with two sixes and four boundaries.

Brief Scores:


Chhattisgarh 248 for eight in 50 overs (Ashutosh Singh 110, Manoj Singh 62, Harpreet Singh Bhatia 26) lost to Andhra 249 for eight in 50 overs (Karn Sharma 55, Ashwin Hebbar 53, D. B. Ravi Teja 53, K. S. Bharat 30, Ricky Bhui 27) by two wickets.

Toss: Andhra

Points: Andhra (14) 4; Chhattisgarh (8) 0.

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