Vijay Hazare Trophy: Gaikwad scores another ton, Venkatesh stars with 112 for MP

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Maharashtra run machine Ruturaj Gaikwad scored a second successive hundred in as many days to lead his team to a thumping eight-wicket win over Chhattisgarh in a Group D match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday.

The Maharashtra skipper on Wednesday left the job unfinished getting out for 136 in their high scoring chase against Madhya Pradesh, but this time he paced his innings beautifully on way to an unbeaten 143-ball 154 and hunt down 277 with three overs to spare.

The 24-year-old smashed five sixes and 14 boundaries and was in total control of the chase, making him a strong prospect for a debut call up in the upcoming ODI series in South Africa.

Gaikwad also got some support from his opening partner Yash Nahar (52) as the duo laid the foundation with a 120-run opening partnership before Naushad Shaikh (37) extended a crucial 94-run mid innings stand.

Gaikwad and Naushad dissected the field with ease and never allowed the Chhattisgarh bowlers to settle down as in no time they brilliantly accelerated their chase.

Chhattisgarh legspinner Shubham Agarwal bore the brunt of Gaikwad’s fury conceding 54 runs from his six overs.

Gaikwad stepped out to Agarwal over long on to notch up his second successive hundred in 105 balls and sealed the chase with another six against the same bowler en route to surpassing the 150-mark.

Gaikwad has been in the form of his life and was the top rungetter in the IPL 2021 scoring 635 runs with four fifties and a century to be instrumental in Chennai Super Kings’ fourth triumph.

He also surpassed KL Rahul’s tally of 626 runs to become the youngest batter to clinch the Orange Cap as he continued his sizzling form into the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, scoring three successive half-centuries.

He however missed the knockout leg of the domestic T20s after being named in India’s T20I squad against New Zealand where he did not get to play a single game.

Earlier on a placid SCA Stadium pitch, Chhattisgarh were restricted to a below-par 275/7 after Gaikwad opted to field.

In another match, Venkatesh Iyer, who made his T20I debut in the recent home series versus New Zealand, scored his all-round skills to script Madhya Pradesh’s facile 40-run win over Kerala here.

Batting at No 4, Venkatesh first smashed a 84-ball 112 (7×4, 4×6) and in an entertaining 169-run partnership with Shubham Sharma (82 from 67 balls; 9×4, 1×6) to take them 329/9 after they were put in by Kerala skipper Sanju Samson.

In reply, Kerala were bowled out for 289 in 49.4 overs with Venkatesh bagging 3/55, while Puneet Datey claimed 4/59.

Atharva’s unbeaten 164 blows away Andhra

Opener Atharva Taide smashed a scintillating 123-ball 164 as Vidarbha scripted a successful chase for a thrilling two-wicket win over Andhra Pradesh in a Group A match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday.

Opting to bowl, Vidarbha restricted Andhra to 287 for 8 and then returned to overhaul the target in just 41.4 overs.

Atharva made a mockery of the chase as he blasted 15 boundaries and five sixes during his whirlwind unbeaten knock.

The 21-year-old was ably supported by Ganesh Satish (43) and Yash Rathod (44 not out), who also took three wickets in the match.

For Andhra, CR Gnaneshwar (93) was the top-scorer, while Ambati Rayudu (53) and Pinninti Tapaswi (45) also chipped in with useful contributions.

Earlier, Thakur (3/74) and Aditya Sarwate (3/45) picked three wickets each, while Aditya Thakare took two to restrict Andhra to a competitive score.

For Andhra, Cheepurapalli Stephen (1/46) and Harishankar Reddy (1/23) managed to take one wicket each but it wasn’t enough to stop a marauding Atharva, who made it a one-sided contest with his power-hitting.

In other matches, Himachal Pradesh dished out an allround show to register a 63-run win over Jammu and Kashmir at Dadoji Konddev stadium, while Odisha eked out a three-wicket win over Gujarat at Bandra Kurla Complex.

TN thrash Karnataka by 8 wickets in Southern derby

Left-arm spinners M Siddharth and R Sai Kishore came up with impressive performances as Tamil Nadu outplayed arch-rivals Karnataka by eight wickets in an Elite Group ‘B’ match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday.

Skipper Manish Pandey’s decision to bat first backfired as Siddharth (4/23) and Sai Kishore (3/28) spun a web around the Karnataka batters to bundle them out for 122 in 36.3 overs.

Save Pandey (40) and Rohan Kadam (37), none of the other Karnataka batters could make a significant contribution.

Tamil Nadu then rode on B Indrajith’s unbeaten half-century to overhaul the target in 28 overs.

The slide began in the opening over when Sandeep Warrier had Ravikumar Samarth caught behind by Dinesh Karthik for a duck off in the second ball.

Only a 67-run partnership for the third wicket between Kadam (69 balls, 1 four) and Pandey (54 balls, 3 fours) helped them the blushes as none of the other batters reached double figures.

Kadam’s innings was ended by M S Washington Sundar (1/27), who castled him.

Siddharth then struck a crucial blow for Tamil Nadu when he bowled Pandey in the 26th over.

It was a procession from thereon as Siddharth and Sai Kishore ran through the rest of the batting line-up.

In reply, TN openers B Sai Sudharsan (18) and captain N Jagadeesan (16) began by hitting a few boundaries before the latter was bowled by Vidhyadhar Patil (1/22).

Sai Sudharsan and Indrajith (51, 74 balls, 6 fours) added 32 runs for the second wicket before the former was dismissed by J Suchith (1/24).

Indrajith and Washington Sundar (31 not out, 33 balls, 3 fours) made sure that there was no further trouble as they closed out the chase in the 28th over.

It was the second occasion in recent times that Tamil Nadu had managed to put it across Karnataka after having nailed a thrilling final of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

In other matches of the group which were affected by rain, Mumbai got past Baroda, while Pondicherry pulled off a surprise win over the fancied Bengal — both via the VJD method used in domestic matches.

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