Andhra’s audacious chase against Vidarbha helps it top Group-B and qualify for quarterfinals
On an exciting final day of the league stage, Andhra pipped Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand on net run rate (NRR) to top Elite Group-B and qualify for the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Sunday.
Even as Tamil Nadu chased down Vidarbha’s total of 150 in 11.2 overs to post a five-wicket win, Andhra produced an even more audacious effort as it chased Jharkhand’s 139 in just 9.5 overs to end the league stage with 12 points with an NRR of +0.732 while Tamil Nadu had a NRR of +0.652.
Asked to bat, Vidarbha was skittled out for 150 thanks to three-wicket hauls from off-spinner B. Aparajith (3/10) and medium-pacers J. Kousik (3/22) and M. Mohammed (3/33).
In reply, N. Jagadeesan led the way with an 18-ball 48 (4×4, 4×6) before Mohammed chipped in with an unbeaten 37 off 14 balls (3×4, 3×6) to help TN reach the target in quick time.
In the other match, Andhra medium-pacer M. Harishankar Reddy justified his team’s decision to field by scalping four-wickets (4/39) as Jharkhand was bowled out for just 139.
Needing to get the job done quickly, openers Ashwin Hebbar (44, 18b, 4×4, 4×6) and Ricky Bhui (57 n.o., 5×4, 5×6) went on the rampage, adding 82 runs in just 5.5 overs.
Bhui ensured he stayed unbeaten and shocked Jharkhand which was leading the table heading into this match with a NRR of +1.399.
Tamil Nadu coach D. Vasu said, “We produced a clinical effort today, but it wasn’t enough in the end. A case of so near, yet so far.
“Overall, it was a good season for us and every player delivered when given an opportunity and we just need to build on this for our big goal which is winning the Ranji Trophy.”