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March 3, 2014
South ZoneKarnataka thumped Goa in Alur to secure their place in the South Zone final, against Tamil Nadu. Karnataka piled up 312 for 9 on the back of a century from opener Mayank Agarwal. While none of the others got to a fifty, a number of rapid cameos around Agarwal's 116 off 102 balls were enough to propel the team beyond 300. Left-arm spinner Abrar Kazi opened the defence for Karnataka, and though he went on to bowl 11 overs - one bowler from each team is allowed 12 overs as an experiment in this tournament - all of nine of his team-mates also sent down overs; only keeper CM Gautam didn't get a bowl. Kazi was the pick of the lot though, taking 4 for 49. The frequent bowling changes must have left the Goa batsmen a bit unsettled, and they failed to bat out their overs. They were bowled out for 241 in the 44th over. Only Sagun Kamat managed a contribution of note, with 63 off 74.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, by virtue of topping the zone, will have the chance to compete for the national one-day crown against the top teams from the four other zones.
Andhra cruised to a six-wicket win, with close to 10 overs to spare, against Hyderabad. Hyderabad chose to bat, but their innings never really got going. They were tottering at 139 for 9 at one stage, before an unbeaten 44 from wicketkeeper Habeeb Ahmed took them to 166. Legspinner Swaroop Kumar, who ran through much of the lower order, had the best figures: 4 for 21 in less than five overs. The chase was completed with few hiccups, led by opener Srikar Bharat's 60.
The result was ultimately irrelevant, since Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have already secured their place in the South Zone final.
The match between Kerala and Tamil Nadu was abandoned without a ball bowled in Bangalore. TN, at the top of the table, qualified for the knockouts while Kerala can no longer qualify for the next round.
North ZoneServices recorded their third straight win in the tournament, beating Haryana by five wickets in Delhi. After choosing to bat, Haryana could not get any momentum going in their innings. Instead, they lost wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out 171 in exactly 50 overs. It said much that their top score - 33 - came from No. 8 Sonu Rathee. Left-arm spinner Avishek Sinha, who had also had a good previous game against Jammu & Kashmir, was the most effective of the Services bowlers, with 3 for 31. Services' chase was built around an unbeaten 69 from Rajat Paliwal - his second fifty in two games - and despite losing five wickets they got home relatively comfortably, with 26 balls to spare. Medium pacer Joginder Sharma was the only Haryana bowler to make much of an impact, taking 3 for 23.
The six North Zone teams each have two more round-robin games to secure their place in the top two - and thus have a chance to play in the zonal final, as well as compete at the national level.
Punjab won a one-sided contest against Jammu & Kashmir by eight wickets, with 78 balls to spare. Punjab inserted J&K and had them in huge trouble early on at 7 for 3. While the middle and lower order refused to fold and all contributed cameos, none of them could inject the type of momentum the innings needed. They finished on 199 for 9 with pacers Manpreet Gony and Siddarth Kaul and Harbhajan Singh among the wickets. Punjab were dealt a quick blow in the chase as Jiwanjot Singh was out for a second consecutive duck, but the rest of the top order delivered to ensure comprehensive victory. Manan Vohra scored a rapid 89, before Mandeep Singh and Yuvraj Singh finished things off in the 37th over.
J&K have not any of their three games so far, and have a very slim chance of finishing in the top two.
Delhi beat Himachal Pradesh by five wickets, to keep their chances of a top-two finish healthy. Himachal chose to bat and were bowled out for 230 with a ball to spare. Several of their top order got starts, but none could convert those into a big one. The only half-century came from No. 7, Bipul Sharma. Left-arm spinner Left-arm spinner Varun Sood finished with the best figures for Delhi, 4 for 54, after running through the lower-middle order. Delhi's reply was set up by a 79-run stand between Unmukt Chand and Jagrit Anand. Milind Kumar built on that base, hitting an unbeaten 57 to take the team across the line with five balls to spare.
Virender Sehwag, who had featured in Delhi's first two matches, did not play this game.
West ZoneMumbai were knocked out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy when they slumped to their third defeat in four matches with a 75-run loss to Maharashtra. Maharashtra were given a strong start by Rohit Motwani's 47 but wickets tumbled at the other end as their middle order failed to push the total ahead. But Nikhil Naik (78) revived them and an unbeaten 62-ball 72 from Shrikant Mundhe charged them to 271 for 7.
Mumbai's top and middle order struggled to put up a fight. Their top three were removed cheaply by Samad Fallah (3 for 27) and the middle-order batsmen fell for low double-digit scores to leave them on 72 for 6 which virtually ended the chase for them. Siddharth Chitnis and Dhawal Kulkarni at Nos. 8 and 9 scored 38 and 39 respectively but they were restricted to 196 for 9.
Baroda sneaked a 10-run win against Saurashtra to move to second place in the West Zone table. Baroda were propelled to 289 for 7 by an 88-ball hundred from Yusuf Pathan at No. 5 after opener Saurabh Wakaskar made 40 and Shatrunjay Gaekwad scored 67. Yusuf struck 12 fours and a six before he was run out.
Saurashtra were helped by knocks of 44 from Sheldon Jackson and 67 from Pruthvipal Solanki early on. They were reduced to 186 for 5 in the 40th over before a 32-ball 58 and 23-ball 29 for a stand of 76 from 45 balls took them close but could not take them all the way.
East ZoneJharkhand jumped to the top of the table by routing Bengal by 136 runs in Ranchi. Their top five batsmen registered significant scores, led by Virat Singh (76), Kumar Deobrat (49) and Saurabh Tiwary (47). Five wickets from Ashok Dinda decelerated their charge and kept them to 273 for 9.
Bengal got a stable start but Rahul Shukla dismissed two of their top four batsmen and once they were all back, the remaining seven batsmen scored only 22 runs together as they were all out for 137. Shukla and Shahbaz Nadeem took three wickets each.
Odisha were also knocked out when they were thrashed by Tripura by six wickets in Ranchi. Put in to bat, Odisha lost wickets at regular intervals after the second-wicket stand of 45. Opener Paresh Patel top-scored with 27 as Rana Dutta, Udiyan Bose and Kaushal Acharjee took two wickets each to skittle Odisha for 124. Tripura's top order got starts but could not convert them into big scores. An unbeaten 42 from Yogesh Takawale ensured they were home with 20 overs to spare.
Anureet Singh, the Railways medium-pacer, picked up a career-best 6 for 18 as he crippled Rajasthan and set up an eight-wicket victory. Having been put in, only opener Sourabh Chouhan managed double figures but was out for 18. Anureet left four more of the top seven in his wake as Rajasthan flagged to 36 for 6 and were never in the game. The chase went off without too many hitches with Rongsen Jonathan striking a 25-ball 43 and remained unbeaten when the winnings runs were struck in the 10th over.
Urvesh Patel and Ravi Jangid were the architects of a tight 10-run win for Vidarbha. Both batsmen struck half-centuries to stabilise a wobble cause by the Madhya Pradesh bowlers to post a competitive total that just proved enough. The chase was hampered by two early wickets before captain Monish Mishra and Shubham Sharma built a fightback. Aside from their 92-run stand though, there were very few contributions. Gaurav Upadhyaya's three wickets was vital in that regard.
With their losses, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have been knocked out. The top two teams from the group will make it to the zonal finals.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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