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February 24, 2012
Bangalore's Rajinder Singh Institute Ground witnessed an epic chase, as Andhra overhauled Goa's 383, incredibly, with eight balls to spare. It was the sixth-highest match aggregate - 768 - in List A history. The match included three centuries - 139 by Goa's Rohit Asnodkar, and 115 and 104 by the Andhra pair of Venugopal Rao and AG Pradeep respectively.
Opting to bat first, Goa were carried by the third-wicket partnership of 144, off 23.2 overs, between Asnodkar and Reagan Pinto. Asnodkar hit 20 fours and a six before he was dismissed by Sneha Kishore. Goa continued scoring at breakneck speed, especially the eighth-wicket pair of Shadab Jakati and Robin D'Souza, who added 77 off the last four overs. Sneha Kishore was the only bowler to return with an economy rate of less than six (he took 1 for 59), while S Srinivas conceded a century - 2 for 103 off his ten overs.
The Andhra openers, Prasanth Kumar and Syed Sahabuddin, gave the team the launch pad with a stand of 112 off 11.1 overs. Four quick wickets put the game in Goa's control, but the stand of 195, off 23.4 overs proved to be a massive shock to the system for Goa. Venugopal and Pradeep scored at over eight an over, and when Pradeep was dismissed, Andhra needed just 44 off 52 balls. Pradeep hit four sixes in his 104, off 69 balls. Venugopal and Bharat Reddy finished things off in the penultimate over. Ganeshraj Narvekar was the only bright spot for Goa's otherwise sorry bowling effort, finishing with 4 for 56.
The other team from the state of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad, wasn't so lucky though. In another high-scoring game, at the Jain International Residential School Ground, the hosts Karnataka piled on 343 for 7, led by Robin Uthappa's 120 and Ganesh Satish's 90. Coincidentally, Uthappa and Satish also added 144 off 23.2 overs, just like Asnodkar and Pinto did in the other match. The Karnataka duo's second-wicket stand laid the groundwork for a massive score. Satish and Abhimanyu Mithun added a quick 48 for the fourth wicket. Andhra managed only 240 in their reply, because the batsmen couldn't give their captain Ravi Teja enough support. Teja's 110 went in vain, and the next-highest score in the innings was BP Sandeep's 38. Karnataka's find of the tournament, Ronit More, followed up his six-wicket haul on debut with 5 for 31 to keep Hyderabad to 240.
Tamil Nadu recorded their third win in the tournament, beating Kerala by 61 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. S Anirudha's 82 set the platform for Tamil Nadu to score 284 for 8. KB Arun Karthik hit a quick 56 off 50 balls at No.3, before the lower order, led by K Vasudevadas, took the team to a competitive score. For Kerala, Robert Fernandez hit 86 off 94 balls but the middle order failed to give him enough support. The seam-bowling duo of R Jesuraj and C Ganapathy took four wickets each to give Tamil Nadu a comprehensive win.
At Eden Gardens, Jharkhand's 280 for 6 was barely enough to test the hosts Bengal, as Laxmi Ratan Shukla plundered 151, off 96 balls, to guide his team to a seven-wicket win with nearly 12 overs to spare. Jharkhand's Ishank Jaggi, coming in at No.3 as early as the second over, stayed till the end to hit 129, off 144 balls. Shami Ahmed, East Zone's star in the Duleep Trophy final, took four wickets but conceded a whopping 86 off ten overs. He was supported by Saurabh Tiwary and Kumar Deobrat, who both compiled 40s. Like the Australians found out at Hobart today, a score of 280 wasn't enough. Shukla smashed eight sixes and 16 fours in his knock before he was bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem in the 31st over. Wriddhiman Saha and Anustup Majumdar then added an unbeaten 74 off 7.4 overs to seal the chase.
Orissa recorded a comprehensive 95-run win at the Jadavpur University Complex in Kolkata against Tripura. Biplab Samantray played a captain's knock for Orissa, top scoring with 78, He was supported by Govind Podder, who made 55, to help push the score to 291. Rana Dutta took four wickets, but leaked 74 off his ten overs. The Tripura batsmen failed to make starts, the highest score being 42 by the opener Samrat Singha. The left-arm spinner Paresh Patel was the best bowler for Orissa, taking 4 for 30.
An unbeaten century by Udit Birla helped Madhya Pradesh beat Rajasthan in a tough chase at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur. In their pursuit of 225, MP were struggling at 60 for 4 in the 19th over but Birla stepped up and saw his team through. He struck nine fours in his 129-ball knock, and was supported by Harpreet Singh, who made 33 in a 78-run stand. Then Ankit Sharma assisted Birla, scoring a quick 30 in a stand worth 74 which ultimately won the game for MP. The ton was Birla's first in List A cricket.
In the Rajasthan innings, Jalaj Saxena was the chief wicket-taker, taking 4 for 40, including the wickets of the two half-centurions Robin Bist and Puneet Yadav.
Vidarbha sealed a five-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh in Nagpur. A series of steady and useful contributions took UP to 229 for 7 in their 50 overs. Mohammad Kaif made 40, Ali Murtaza made 46 in a slowish innings and captain Piyush Chawla provided the surge in the late overs, smashing 69 in 43 balls, striking five fours and four sixes. However, his effort was in vain.
Opener Akshay Kolhar led the way for Vidarbha in the chase, making 73 and put his team on course after the loss of two early wickets. He added 86 with Hemang Badani (40) and though the hosts were reduced to 151 for 5 at one stage, Vidarbha were able to claw their way out of the difficult position. Apoorv Wankhade (48 not out) and Urvesh Patel (30 not out) put together 83 at better than a run-a-ball and saw their team through with 31 balls to spare.
Delhi continued their good run in the tournament, beating Himachal Pradesh by eight wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla to register their third straight win. A collective bowling effort helped them skittle out HP for 103. Parvinder Awana led the way with three wickets and Pawan Suyal, Pradeep Sangwan and Rajat Bhatia picked up two each. The highest score in the HP innings was 24 by Vikramjeet Malik. HP were reduced to 88 for 8 at one stage but the tail helped them get beyond the 100 mark. The win was secured with ease, opener Shikhar Dhawan making an unbeaten 55 to seal the game in the 26th over.
Haryana overcame Services by 52 runs at the Palam B Ground in Delhi, despite an unimposing albeit competitive score. The Haryana innings was littered by steady contributions but they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Persistent strikes meant that Haryana were left struggling at one stage, at 105 for 6, but Kuldeep Hooda rescued them with an unbeaten half-century. He added 54 with Mohit Sharma and found good support from Jayant Yadav, with whom he added an unbeaten 74. That partnership took Haryana to 223, a score they successfully defended.
Yadav picked up three wickets in the chase and Hooda and Harshal Patel took two each to rattle Services. The only significant resistance came from Sanjeev Mishra, who scored a half-century but there was little support from the other end. Though opener Tahir Khan, and Narender Singh and Suraj Yadav in the lower order, got starts, the batting couldn't measure up to what the Haryana bowlers offered. Services were bowled out for 171.
Jammu and Kashmir put up a fight but could not overcome Punjab at the Palam A Ground in Delhi. Their bowlers, particularly Ram Dayal and Raman Dutta, had done a good job to bowl out Punjab for 224, picking up three wickets each, but the batsmen failed to scale it down. For Punjab, half-centuries from Chandan Madan and Amitoze Singh proved crucial in taking their team to a competitive score. J&K, in the chase, were very much in it, reaching 109 for 3 in the 28th over but they began to slip from there on. Rajwinder Singh took three wickets and Bipul Sharma chipped in with two; J&K were reduced to 113 for 7. Parvez Rasool kept the team afloat with a half-century at No.9 and a half-century stand with Dutta for the final wicket but all J&K could manage in the end was 205 for 9.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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