Lamba 85 helps Rajasthan advance
Rajasthan entered the second round of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy thanks to Ankit Lamba, who scored 85 in their three-wicket win over Vidarbha in the final over in Nagpur. Chasing 158, Lamba nearly batted through the innings, and was dismissed in the penultimate over with Rajasthan needing seven off ten balls with three wickets in hand. Deepak Chahar and Pankaj Singh saw them through with five balls to spare.
Pankaj was in good form with the ball, taking 3 for 29. Vidarbha's highest stand was 70 for the third wicket between Faiz Fazal and Amol Ubarhande. Ubarhande top-scored with an exact 50 off 39 balls. Fazal made 36 before he was dismissed by Aniket Choudhary, who took 3 for 22. Pankaj took two wickets in the final over as Vidarbha ended on 157 for 7.
Lamba was the mainstay of Rajasthan's chase and their highest stand was 46 for the first wicket between Lamba and Suryaprakash Suwalka. Rajasthan were 113 for 3 in the 15th over but lost two quick wickets for 11 runs. Lamba was run out, after hitting seven fours and five sixes. The eighth-wicket pair ensured his efforts didn't go to waste.
Uttar Pradesh topped the Central Zone table after thumping Railways by 63 runs in Nagpur. It was a collective effort from UP, who made 150 after batting first even though none of their batsmen made 30. Debutants Digvijay Singh and Upendra Yadav got them going, both scoring 26, before Akshdeep Nath and Umang Sharma contributed similarly useful 20s down the order. They lost nine wickets, three of them going to left-arm spinner Ashish Yadav.
Railways' chase was doomed from the start, with seamers Praveen Kumar and Imtiaz Ahmed striking early before the spinners took over. Left-arm orthodox spinner Praveen Gupta, left-arm chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav and legspinner Piyush Chawla took two wickets each as Railways crumbled to 87 all out.