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March 2, 2014
Three wickets apiece from Imtiaz Ahmed and Piyush Chawla helped set up Uttar Pradesh's five-wicket win against Rajasthan in Jaipur. Rohit Sharma was the only Rajasthan batsman to offer some resistance, scoring 58, as Imtiaz and Chawla ran through their line-up to bundle the team out for 171. Uttar Pradesh lost three quick wickets during the chase, but Mohammad Kaif (59) put up fifty-plus stands with Suresh Raina and Akshdeep Nath to take the team home in 38.1 overs.
Naman Ojha's 94 nearly guided Madhya Pradesh to victory, but tight bowling from Railways resulted in MP falling eight runs short. MP, chasing 257, lost Jalaj Saxena in the third over, but Ojha waged a counterattack by combining with Mohnish Mishra and Rameez Khan for two big partnerships. MP needed 64 off the last 10 overs, but Anureet Singh (4 for 49) dented MP's progress with strikes at regular intervals and in the end, the team could only make 248 for 9 from their 50 overs. Railways, batting first, had been propelled by starts from all their top order, but it was Mahesh Rawat's 67 and his 77-run association with Arindam Ghosh that helped them to 256 for 6.
Fifties from M Vijay and Baba Aparajith helped Tamil Nadu cruise to a 125-run win against Hyderabad in Bangalore after the match was reduced to 45 overs per side. Vijay and Aparajith added 142 runs for the second wicket to buoy Tamil Nadu to a mammoth 280 for 4. Aparajith struck four fours and two sixes during his 91, while Vijay's run-a-ball 90 included six fours and three sixes. With 206 runs and fifty in each of his three games, Vijay is currently the leading run-scorer in the tournament. Akshath Reddy and Ashish Reddy both scored forties for Hyderabad, both only four batsmen managed to reach double digits during their chase. Lakshmipathy Balaji and Rahil Shah snared three wickets each to skittle Hyderabad out for 155 in 35.5 overs.
Ricky Bhui's unbeaten century helped Andhra chase down 269 against Goa with four wickets remaining. Bhui drilled eight fours and six sixes during his 79-ball 103, and added an unbroken 84 with Dasari Swaroop Kumar to take Andhra home in 48.4 overs. The platform for the team's chase, however, had been laid by the captain Prasanth Kumar's 90. Amit Yadav was the pick of Goa's bowlers and finished with 3 for 45. Goa, put in to bat, had made 268 for 6 on the back of fifties from Sagun Kamat (65) and Harshad Hanumant Gadekar (61), but it was ultimately not enough.
A strong batting display from Karnataka, led by a century from Robin Uthappa, helped the team crush Kerala by 104 runs in Alur. Uthappa hit 11 fours and two sixes during his run-a-ball 104, while KL Rahul (51) and Karun Nair (60) both scored fifties to lift Karnataka to 317 for 5. Rohan Prem led Kerala's chase with a quick century (103) of his own, but barring a 32 from Robert Fernandez, he received little support from the other end. Vinay Kumar finished with 5 for 34 to run through Kerala in 46.2 overs, bowling them out for 213.
Gujarat won their third straight match in the tournament, beating Baroda by a comfortable 73 runs in Rajkot. That Gujarat would cruise to a win was not apparent at the start, when Irfan Pathan took out Parthiv Patel with the first ball of the game. Gujarat's other opener, Dhruv Raval, was also out for a duck, to Munaf Patel. But then Ruju Bhatt steadied the innings with 86 and Jesal Karia boosted the total with a rapid 53, to set Baroda 240. Baroda's innings was off to an even worse start than Gujarat's though; they lost half their side inside the first nine overs. They never recovered, eventually folding for 166 in the 39th over. Close to half those runs came off the bat of Irfan Pathan - he made 79 off 88.
A 114-run association between Sushant Marathe and Iqbal Abdulla paved the way for Mumbai's five-wicket win against Saurashtra in Rajkot. Marathe (88) and Abdulla (55) both scored half-centuries and whacked 14 fours between them to help Mumbai chase down 245 in 48.3 overs. Saurashtra, batting first, had earlier scored 244 for 7. Their innings was built on the back of Arpit Vasavada's unbeaten 99, and his partnerships with Bhushan Chauhan (46) and Sheldon Jackson (53). For Mumbai, Dhawal Kulkarni took three wickets.
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