Vijay Hazare: Hyderabad's Siraj spells doom for Andhra

Mohammed Siraj’s second spell (5-0-19-2) sent Andhra crashing to a 14-run defeat against Hyderabad in a Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal match.

Andhra skipper Hanuma Vihari is castled by Mohammed Siraj, sparking a batting collapse. Andhra won by 14 runs.   -  Sudhakara Jain

A middle-order collapse triggered by Mohammed Siraj’s second spell (5-0-19-2) spelt doom for Andhra as it fell to 14-run defeat against Hyderabad in a Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal match at the Just Cricket Ground near here on Monday.

In Wednesday’s first semifinal, Hyderabad will take on Mumbai.

While skipper Hanuma Vihari (95, 99b, 8x4, 4x6) was at the crease, the 282-run target seemed way less daunting. Along with Ricky Bhui (52, 71b, 5x4, 1x6), he combined for a 112-run third wicket association to bring the equation down to 84 runs off 81 balls. The two had also ensured that their side was always ahead of the VJD method par score in the likelihood of rain.

As the Vijay Hazare quarterfinals happened

But first Bhui was caught at third man while attempting an upper cut and then Vihari chopped one onto his stumps soon after. When Ravi Teja was bowled by Ravi Kiran immediately after, Andhra had lost three wickets for just 11 runs and never recovered from there.

Vihari, though, was a class apart. Coming in at one drop, he sent the Hyderabad bowlers scurrying for cover from the outset. The first boundary was an immaculate drive off Siraj and he followed that up with a massive hooked six, with Siraj the bowler again.

He then hoisted left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan twice over the long off fence, before reaching his half-century with another ground-clearing effort, this time off Akash Bhandari, Hasan’s spin partner.

Bhandari couldn’t hold on to a tough chance off his own bowling when Vihari was on 59. But for that, it was a chanceless innings which deserved better a return than what it fetched.

Earlier, after Andhra won the toss and opted to field, Hyderabad registered its highest total in this year’s competition. No.4 batsman B. Sandeep’s 96-run knock (97b, 7x4, 1x6) was the glue which held Hyderabad together even as a clutch of small but sizeable efforts by the likes of Tanmay Agarwal (31, 44b) and captain Ambati Rayudu (28, 37b) helped swell the total.

Also read: Shaw, Rahane boost for Mumbai in Vijay Hazare semis

There was a brief hiccup when Hyderabad appeared to lose the plot with some conservative batting leading into the death overs. But 34 runs from the last four set the ship on the right course.

At the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Jharkhand eased past Maharashtra by eight wickets (VJD method) in a rain-affected fixture. Left-arm spinner Anukul Roy took four for 32 as Jharkhand, electing to field first, dismissed Maharashtra for 181.

Rain twice interrupted the run-chase, leaving Ishan Kishan's men chasing a revised target of 127 in 34 overs. Shasheem Rathour and Saurabh Tiwary added 66 runs in an unbroken third-wicket stand as their side achieved the task with 10 balls to spare. Jharkhand will now meet Delhi in the second semifinal on Thursday.

Brief scores: Hyderabad 281/8 in 50 overs (Tanmay Agarwal 31, B. Sandeep 96) bt Andhra 267/9 in 50 overs (Ashwin Hebbar 38, Hanuma Vihari 95, Ricky Bhui 52, Mohammed Siraj 3/50).

Maharashtra 181 in 42.2 overs (Rohit Motwani 52, Rahul Tripathi 47, Anukul Roy 4/32, Rahul Shukla 3/35) lost to Jharkhand [revised target: 127 in 34 overs] 127/2 in 32.2 overs (Shasheem Rathour 53*, Saurabh Tiwary 29*, Ishan Kishan 28).

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