Tilak Varma’s second unbeaten century in eight days kept alive Hyderabad’s chances of qualifying to the knockout phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy after its expected triumph over last-placed Manipur by seven wickets at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here on Saturday.
With two rounds to go, Hyderabad shares the third spot with Uttar Pradesh at 12 points.
In the other matches, too, the team batting second emerged as the winner. Saurashtra (16) outplayed defending champion Himachal Pradesh (8) by eight wickets at the Air Force 2 ground, Chandigarh (16) overhauled UP’s challenging 309 for four off the last ball for a five-wicket victory at the Air Force ground and Gujarat (8) posted a seven-wicket triumph over Tripura (8) at the Jamia Milia ground.
Manipur batted by choice and posted 191 for eight, thanks mainly to the last three stands of 30-plus runs that lifted the side from 94 for six in the 33rd over. Bikash Singh stayed unbeaten with a 37-ball 44 (5x4, 1x6). M. Shashank took three for 16.
In response, Hyderabad cruised home following an unbroken 164-run stand involving Varma (126 n.o., 77b, 14x4, 7x6) and Rohit Rayudu (39 n.o., 51b, 1x4, 2x6) after the team was awkwardly placed at 28 for three in the ninth over.
In the most interesting match of the day, Chandigarh rode on a 233-run partnership for the fourth wicket between centurions Arslan Khan (141 n.o., 144b, 7x4, 4x6) and Bhagmender Lather (100, 105b, 9x4, 2x6) to clinch the last-ball thriller.
Earlier, UP’s opener Madhav Kaushik (134, 138b, 13x4, 3x6), Aryan Juyal (75, 92b, 7x4,1x6) and Rinku Singh (73, 40b, 6x4, 4x6) contributed to what appeared like a winning total. But Chandigarh was not to be denied on this day.
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