Vijay Hazare Trophy: Hyderabad books knockout berth

Defeats Chhattisgarh by 84 runs in the final round of matches.

Ambati Rayudu en route to his half-century on Wednesday at the Gymkhana Ground.   -  K. V. S. Giri

Ambati Rayudu has every reason to smile. Having returned to his home State this season, the Hyderabad captain led his team to the knockout phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with an emphatic, 84-run win over Chattisgarh in a Group D match at the Gymkhana Ground here on Wednesday.

The win helped Hyderabad top the points table with 20 points - net run-rate (NRR) of 0.646. Saurashtra took the second spot, edging its rival Vidarbha owing to a better NRR after defeating it by eight wickets (both teams possess 16 points). Chhattisgarh, also with 16 points, was fourth (NRR -0.103).

In a must-win game, Hyderabad, electing to bat, scored 280 for eight in 50 overs with southpaw B. Sandeep (79, 95b, 4x4, 1x6)top-scoring and captain Ambati Rayudu (46, 65 b, 2x4, 2x6) and Ravi Teja (45, 35b, 4x4, 1x6) pitching in with useful contributions. The 92-run stand for the fourth wicket between the in-form Sandeep and Ambati Rayudu helped Hyderabad come back into the game after K. Sumanth (21) failed to get going. Just when he looked for a big score, Rayudu charged down the wicket for an ambitious stroke and paid the price. A leading edge off Shivendra Singh was snaffled by the wicket-keeper Manoj Singh.

Read: Vihari blitz helps Andhra maintain unbeaten run

Then, Sandeep and the hard-hitting Ravi Teja added 64 runs for the fifth wicket. It allowed Hyderabad to eventually post a challenging total. For Chhattisgarh, pacers Pankaj Rao (three for 52) and Mohammad Shahbaz (two for 53) bowled well in patches.

Fiery spell

Chhattisgarh was rattled early in its chase by a fiery spell from pacer Md. Siraj, who struck thrice very early to leave the team reeling at 19 for four in 6.2 overs. Siraj went on to claim his second five-wicket haul in the qualifying rounds. But for gritty knocks from Amandeep Khare (71, 90b, 6x4, 3x6) and Sanjeet Desai (47, 56b, 3x4), it could have been an even more miserable show.

A sporting gesture from Rayudu saw Sanjeet, when on 30, being recalled to the crease after being declared out lbw off B. Sandeep. Later, Rayudu revealed that he had informed the umpire, who had checked with him about the dismissal, that the batsman was not out.

The scores
  • Final round
  • Hyderabad 280 for seven in 50 overs (B. Sandeep 79, Ambati Rayudu 46, T. Ravi Teja 45, Pankaj Rao three for 52) bt Chhattisgarh 196 in 44.3 overs (Amandeep Khare 71, Sanjeet Desai 47, Md. Siraj five for 37) by 84 runs.
  • Jharkhand 296 for nine in 50 overs (Virat Singh 96, Umar Nazir three for 71, Parvez Rasool three for 46) bt J&K 199 in 46 overs (Shubham Singh 74, Vikash three for 37, Ashish Kumar three for 23) by 97 runs.
  • Vidarbha 159 in 40.5 overs (J.M. Sharma 55) lost to Saurashtra 161 for two in 34 overs (Avi Barot 91 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 46 not out) by eight wickets.