Hyderabad upset Tamil Nadu and qualify
Hyderabad upset Tamil Nadu by 36 runs at the Rajinder Singh Institute Ground in Bangalore to make the knockouts. Hyderabad's 333 for 9 was set up by an opening stand of 151 between T Suman and Ravi Teja. Suman hit 122 off 117 with 17 boundaries while Teja contributed 69 off 78. There were three cameos down the order that lifted Hyderabad well above 300. Tamil Nadu began with a big opening partnership as well, when S Anirudha and Abhinav Mukund put on 135 in quick time. Anirudha's dismissal for 77 off 70 led to wickets falling regularly even as Mukund kept scoring at the other end. It was Teja who did the damage with his legbreaks, taking his maiden List A five-for. His victims included S Badrinath, Arun Karthik and eventually, Mukund, who was the sixth man to be dismissed with the score on 257. Teja also took the last wicket to fall as Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 297 in the 48th over to be knocked out of the tournament.
Robin Uthappa made a century and Abrar Kazi took four wickets as Karnataka finished on top of the South Zone points table with a 56-run defeat of Andhra at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Uthappa, who cracked 104 off 95, added 78 upfront with Mayank Agarwal (42) and 117 with Ganesh Satish (67). Karnataka were in a dominant position at 195 for 1 in the 31st over but fell apart after Uthappa's dismissal . They managed 275 in the end but it was to prove more than enough. Only opener Prasanth Kumar (61) challenged Karnataka's attack as the rest subsided in several wasted starts. Kazi ended with 4 for 33 as Andhra were dismissed for 219.
Goa beat Kerala by 98 runs in an inconsequential match at the Aditya Academy Ground in Bangalore. Reagan Pinto (65) and Rohit Asnodkar (45) laid the base for Robin D'Souza to smash an unbeaten 44 off 29 which took Goa to 250 for 8. Kerala had a disastrous start to their chase when they were reduced to 26 for 4. Robert Fernandez (52) and P Anthaf (44) took the score past 100 but once they were dismissed, Kerala crumbled to be bowled out for 152 in the 40th over. Sher Yadav took 4 for 21 for Goa.
Delhi secured progress from North Zone with what ended up being a tense win against Haryana at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Delhi were cruising at 174 for 3 in the 41st over, chasing 214, but a couple of wickets caused a slowdown, and the game went into the final over before captain Rajat Bhatia struck the winning runs to maintain Delhi's 100% record in this year's tournament. It did not look like the game would be that close when Mohit Sharma was in the middle. He scored 68 off 65 balls, and after a slow start seemed to have put Delhi on course for an easy win. A couple of strikes from Haryana kept them in the game but their total of 213 was not enough.
The below-par total was a result of Haryana losing three wickets in the first 20 overs, and their middle order not being able to accelerate. Parvinder Awana took two early wickets, and then returned to take another, to finish with figures of 3 for 31 from his 10 overs, with three maidens. Sachin Rana and Rahul Dewan put together a partnership of 75 to help Haryana recover from the early losses, but the runs came slowly. Haryana left the acceleration too later - Kuldeep Hooda played a couple of big shots right at the end - and their total was not big enough.
Punjab gave themselves a good chance of qualifying for the next round, with a 131-run hiding of Services, at the Model Sports Complex in Delhi, that earned them a bonus point. It was a comprehensive performance from Punjab: the top order fired to get them to a total of 288 for 6, and the bowlers skittled Services for 157. Gurkirat Ahluwalia, playing only his fifth List A game, scored 108 off 103 balls, and was given company first by Ravi Inder Singh, who scored 51, and then India Under-19 star Mandeep Singh, who got 62 off 65 balls.
Services were out of the contest as early as 10.3 overs into the chase, by when they had slipped to 23 for 3. Ravi Inder Singh kept the middle order in check with his offspin, and finished with 3 for 38. Services lumbered to 157 in 43 overs before being bowled out.
Jammu & Kashmir's winless run continued as they lost to Himachal Pradesh by three wickets at the Model Sports Club in Delhi. J & K did well to get back into the game, after Himachal were 152 for 3 chasing 212, and pushed the game till the penultimate over. Left-arm spinner Raman Dutta took 3 for 32 and helped make the game close, but Himachal's top three had done enough to ensure the target was achieved. J & K had lost wickets regularly in the first innings with No. 10 Ram Dayal top-scoring with 34 not out off 25 balls. The wickets were shared around by Himachal's bowlers. Rahul Singh was the most successful, taking 3 for 39.
A century by Shivakant Shukla helped Railways beat Rajasthan in Nagpur and finish top of the Central Zone table. Shukla's 122 guided Railways' chase of 246 and got them home with three overs and seven wickets to spare. Rajasthan lost early wickets after being put in but Robin Bist and Puneet Yadav helped them recover. Yadav's 81 came off 91 balls, but Bist took 110 balls to reach 74, which meant Rajasthan's run-rate did not rise much above four till the 40th over. Yadav and Raman Chahar accelerated towards the end but the total of 245 was not enough to challenge Railways, who finished the group stage with a 100% record.
A 37-run ninth wicket partnership gave Vidarbha a two-wicket win against Madhya Pradesh at Jamtha, but MP still qualified ahead of Vidarbha on account of having scored more bonus points in the group stages. Urvesh Patel was Vidarbha's hero, as he helped them recover from 144 for 6 to chase 234 in 44.5 overs. Amol Ubarhande had given Vidarbha a platform with a half-century, but his dismissal in the 22nd over started a slide. Urvesh Patel stayed solid at one end as Vidarbha slipped to 163 for 7 and then 197 for 8. He found support in Nos. 9 and 10, and moved to 86 not out to take his team to victory. MP had reached 233 thanks to Rameez Khan's 97, and though they lost they are still in the tournament.*
Yusuf Pathan smashed ten sixes in making an unbeaten hundred as Baroda beat Saurashtra by 52 runs at the Bandra Kurla Complex ground in Mumbai. Yusuf built on the start given by Kedar Devdhar and Aditya Waghmode who put on 75 upfront. There weren't any big contributions from the middle order apart from Yusuf, who kept hitting sixes all around the ground. He was finally bowled on 114 off 78 deliveries with six fours and ten sixes. Baroda set a stiff target of 316 and Munaf Patel immediately jolted Saurasthra, bowling Sagar Jogiyani off his fourth delivery which jagged in from short of a length. Shitanshu Kotak and Cheteshwar Pujara could not carry on for long but Sheldon Jackson kept Saurashtra in the game with his maiden List A hundred. Jackson benefitted from a few dropped chances but did not back off from playing his strokes in making 117 off 120 with seven fours and five sixes. As with Yusuf, there wasn't much help for Jackson from the rest of the line-up and Saurashtra were dismissed for 263 in the 45th over. Left-arm spinners Bhargav Bhatt and Swapnil Singh finished with three wickets each.
Ankit Bawne and Akshay Darekar starred as Maharashtra defeated Mumbai by 15 runs at the Wankhede Stadium. Bawne made an unbeaten 93 to take Maharashtra to a competitive 254 for 8. Sangram Atitkar chipped in with 54. Dhawal Kulkarni and Abhishek Nayar took two wickets each for Mumbai. Mumbai's top order failed again with only Nayar (42) managing to make more than 20. Anupam Sanklecha and Darekar soon had Mumbai reeling at 130 for 6 before Iqbal Abdulla and Ankeet Chavan started the repair job. The duo hit fifties to take Mumbai past 200 but Darekar had both batsmen caught by Nikhil Paradkar and dismissed Kshemal Waingankar for a duck to end the innings on 239 in the 49th over. With this result, though, Maharashtra and Mumbai have both progressed to the knockouts.
Assam entered the knockouts with a 46-run victory over Jharkhand at Eden Gardens. Dheeraj Jadhav made yet another century this season and R Sathish was not far behind with a quick 82 as Assam surged to 301 for 9. While Jadhav was relatively patient in his 107 off 120, Sathish clubbed nine boundaries in racing to 82 off 59. Shiv Gautam and Saurabh Tiwary did for Jharkhand what Jadhav and Sathish had done for Assam. Gautam struck 124 off 129 while Tiwary made 76 off 83 in helping Jharkhand recover from 27 for 2. The rest of the line-up, though, did not turn up and the third-highest score by a Jharkhand batsman was just 11. Deepak Gohain led Assam's assault with 4 for 46 while Abu Nechim, back after injuring himself during the Duleep Trophy semi-final against North Zone, claimed 3 for 68.
Bengal also made the knockouts from East Zone with a 30-run win over Tripura in a low-scoring game at the Jadavpur University Complex in Kolkata. Wriddhiman Saha held a faltering innings together with a patient 66 after Rana Dutta and Sanjay Majumder had rocked the Bengal top order. Saha took Bengal to 198 in the end. Laxmi Shukla and Sanjib Sanyal grabbed four wickets apiece in Tripura's chase which seemed to be over at 80 for 8 in the 22nd over. Manisankar Murasingh (66) and Dutta (24 not out) more than doubled the score, though, in an 86-run partnership to bring the visitors back. Sanyal ensured Bengal would come out on top when he had Murasingh caught in the 37th over. The innings ended on 168 in the next over when Bengal captain Sourav Ganguly trapped Majumder lbw. Ganguly had gone lbw as well, for 8.
*February 27, 2012 9:49 GMT: This report originally said Vidarbha had qualified ahead of Madhya Pradesh from Central Zone. It has been corrected.