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March 29, 2013
Kerala increased their chances of making it to the final after winning their third match in a row when they beat Odisha by six wickets in Indore. Batting first, Odisha were rocked by wickets by Nizar Niyas (2 for 24) and VA Jagadeesh (2 for 10). However, cameos from Lagnajit Samal (20 off 16) and Suryakant Pradhan (18 off 16) led them to 125 for 8 with an unbeaten 35-run stand. Opener Ankit Yadav top-scored with 28.
Kerala lost four wickets in the chase, but Sanju Samson (41*) and Sachin Baby (33 off 24) made it easier with a 64-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Nikhilesh Surendran chipped in with 22 at the top and Kerala won with four balls to spare.
Gujarat kept their hopes alive of playing the finals by beating Vidarbha by three wickets in Indore. Vidarbha were given a strong start by their top-order batsmen, Faiz Fazal (27), Amol Ubarhande (24 off 12) and Akshay Kolhar (23). But Jesal Karia struck with two blows in the 11th over. Shalabh Shrivastava (34) and Gaurav Upadhyaya (24) steered the innings from there, taking the total to 156 for 7. Jasprit Bumrah finished with figures of 3 for 33.
Gujarat lost three wickets quickly within four overs but Niraj Patel, who scored 47, took them past 50 with Chirag Gandhi and past 100 with Karia. Once Niraj was dismissed in the 16th over at the score of 103, Karia's knock of 47 from 30 balls, which included four sixes and three fours, took them closer to the target and eventually Akshar Patel (18 off 7) and Rohit Dahiya saw them home with five balls to spare.
Gujarat and Kerala are the top two teams in Group A and will play each other on Saturday.
In a tight, low-scoring match in Indore, Uttar Pradesh, with the help of two sixes towards the end by No. 10 Imtiaz Ahmed, clinched a last-ball victory by two wickets over Baroda at the Holkar Stadium. Chasing 129, UP lost their openers cheaply, but a 44-run stand between Mohammad Kaif and Tanmay Shrivastava, and a 42-run stand between Akshdeep Nath and the captain Piyush Chawla, steered them to a comfortable 107 for 4. However, Baroda were brought back in the contest as UP lost four wickets for six runs - with seamer Murtuja Vahora taking two of them - to be struggling at 113 for 8 in 19 overs. Ahmed struck 15 off five deliveries to take his side home.
Baroda's innings was based on a balanced effort by their top-order batsmen, with Hardik Pandya top-scoring with 37. Baroda suffered a collapse too, losing five wickets for 21 runs; spinner Amit Mishra and Vahora, with three wickets each, were the wreckers-in-chief of their respective sides in a contest that saw 16 wickets falling. With their third loss in as many games, Baroda were relegated to the last spot.
A responsible half-century from Lokesh Rahul helped Karnataka beat Bengal by four wickets. Karnataka, in pursuit of 152, lost their opener Amit Verma in the second over, but Robin Uthappa scored a quick 41 to give them a rapid start amid wickets falling fairly early. His knock was backed up by a Rahul, who struck valuable stands with Manish Pandey and Stuart Binny to help them achieve victory in the final over. Seamer Shami Ahmed took three wickets, but was the most expensive bowler, giving away 39 runs in his four overs. Bengal's innings revolved around an innings of 42 from No. 3 Sayan Mondal, and a 55-run stand for the seventh wicket between Debabrata Das (31) and Arnab Nandi (37*).
Karnataka moved to the second spot in the points table after the win.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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