An impressive 47-ball 72 by opener Anand Singh and a whirlwind finishing act from Saurabh Tiwary (50 in 24) helped Jharkhand nail a tough 177-run chase against Kerala in their Group A encounter in Vijayawada on Saturday (March 2).
With the win, they ensured their place in the next Super League round along with Delhi who in the other Group A encounter thrashed Nagaland by seven wickets. While both Jharkhand and Delhi finished their first round with 20 points each (five wins and a loss), Jharkhand topped the group owing to a superior net run rate.
Batting first Kerala, courtesy quick-fire 30s from Sachin Baby and Rohan Kunnummal followed by an unbeaten 8-ball 21 at the end by Salman Nizar notched up 176/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
Jharkhand were then rocked early in the chase by Sandeep Warrier who got rid of Ishan Kishan in the third over for 1. Anand, however, found his feet from the get-go and along with Virat Singh (46 in 29) took the team forward.
The duo stitched a 71-run stand for the third wicket in under nine overs before Kerala stormed back with a flurry of wickets. Virat, Anand, Ishank Jaggi (0) and Kumar Deobrat (0) all fell in quick succession as the chase got tricky.
It was down to former India international Tiwary to see the side through and the 29-year-old did not disappoint. He struck two fours and five sixes during his knock to finish off the chase with just five balls to spare.
In the other Group A game, a four-wicket haul by pacer Subodh Bhati backed up by a 40-ball 81 from opener Hiten Dalal helped Delhi record a resounding seven-wicket victory over Nagaland.
Batting first, only opener Aditya showed some resilience against a decent Delhi attack scoring 64 in 36 balls which included five fours and four sixes. Manjinder and Toni Chishi were the only two to even manage to reach double digits while three run outs too did not help Nagaland's cause as they were bowled out for 118 in 19.4 overs.
Nagaland made early inroads in Delhi's batting unit getting rid of Unmukt Chand (5) and Nitish Rana (2) early. There was no stopping Dalal though who tonked six fours and seven sixes during his knock. The chase was wrapped up in a mere 12.3 overs by Delhi.
Fazal, Rathod Carry Vidarbha Through to Next Round
Faiz Fazal's run-a-ball 39* and a 22-ball 37* by Rushabh Rathod saw Vidarbha through to a tricky 122-run chase over Gujarat in Surat.
Batting first, Gujarat could only muster 121/6 in their allotted 20 overs. Priyank Panchal top-scored with 38 in 34 balls while Chirag Gandhi ended the innings on a high scoring a 25-ball 30 on a surface where batsmen generally found shot-making tough.
The Gujarat bowlers then made sure to make Vidarbha toil reducing them to 37/4 in 7.2 overs. Fazal though kept his cool and despite losing Ravi Jangid chugged along. The Vidarbha captain got an able ally in Rathod and whilst the former kept rotating the strike Rathod went for the big hits.
The duo stitched an unbeaten 55-run stand for the sixth wicket eventually reaching the target in 18.2 overs and securing a place in the next round with 20 points to (five wins and a loss).
Gujarat, placed second, will now have to wait for the result of the other Group B match which is being played between Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya. TN are on 12 points at the moment and a win will see them level with Gujarat. Though they will need to win big to topple Gujarat on net run rate.
Group E Encounters Washed Out; Assam, Chhattisgarh Win Big in Group D
Persistent rain and a wet outfield in Delhi meant both encounters - Hyderabad vs Uttarakhand and Maharashtra vs Tripura - on the day were abandoned.
In Group D, both Assam and Chhattisgarh produced big wins over Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram respectively in Cuttack.
Batting first Chhattisgarh led by Rishabh Tiwari's 46-ball 85 amassed 220/5. Mizoram then batted their full quota of 20 overs but could only manage 104/5 with Akhil Rajput top-scoring with 40.
Shakeeb Ahmed and Pawandeep Singh were the pick of the bowlers as Chhattisgarh romped home to a 116-run win.
At DRIEMS Ground, Mukhtar Hussain's impeccable figures of 4/8 in three overs shot out Arunachal Pradesh for 102 in 18 overs. Pallavkumar Das (34* in 15), Rishav Das (39 in 18) and Rajjakuddin Ahmed (30 in 7) then made light work of the chase as Assam cantered to a win in just 6.4 overs. Karnataka already qualified for the next round from Group D.
First Published: March 2, 2019, 2:28 PM IST