Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16, Group B December 15, 2015

Inspired Jharkhand inch closer to knockouts

ESPNcricinfo staff

File photo: Shahbaz Nadeem picked up the wickets of Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey and J Suchith to pull the plug on Karnataka's chase © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Karnataka's quest of defending the Vijay Hazare Trophy took a body blow as Jharkhand outclassed them by 47 runs. MS Dhoni, who promoted himself to No. 3, made just 1 but Jharkhand were driven forward by contributions from Ishank Jaggi (50), Saurabh Tiwary (43) and Kumar Deobrat (47*). But vital strikes from J Suchith, the left-arm spinner who finished with 4 for 35, meant Jharkhand were restricted to 216 for 8.

Karnataka's chase hit rough waters very quickly as they were reduced to 52 for 3 by the 12th over. KL Rahul held one end up, with his 41-run stand with Karun Nair briefly resisting Jharkhand. But Rahul's dismissal for an 84-ball 42 resulted in lower-order meltdown. An injury to Stuart Binny didn't help matters either as he walked out to bat at No. 10. Karnataka were eventually bowled out for 169 in 45 overs with Suchith being the last to fall for 34. The left-arm spinners - Sonu Singh and Shahbaz Nadeem - picked up three wickets apiece as Jharkhand registered their fourth win in five matches to put themselves in a good position to qualify for the knockouts.

Gujarat derailed Haryana's campaign with a 28-run win that was powered by Rush Kalaria, the left-arm seamer, who picked up four wickets. Haryana somewhat justified their decision to bowl first by striking regularly, but Gujarat managed to pull away and post 259, with knocks from Parthiv Patel (45) and Rujul Bhatt (55). Amit Mishra, the Haryana captain, picked up three wickets, while Harshal Patel and Ashish Hooda had two wickets apiece.

Haryana stumbled in their chase to lose half the side inside 100 runs, with RP Singh accounting for the the accomplished Jayant Yadav and Rohit Sharma. Kalaria then sliced through the lower order as Haryana were bowled out for 231 off the penultimate ball of the match. Poonish Mehta's 57 lower down the order proved to be scant consolation for Haryana, who have now lost three out of their five matches.

Karn Sharma delivered an all-round performance to help Railways beat Jammu & Kashmir by 43 runs in a low-scoring game to keep their hopes alive of making it through to the knockouts. Karn, the captain, top-scored with 60 in Railways' 200 all out, with Waseem Raza, the left-arm spinner, taking 4 for 31. Ian Dev Singh waged a lone battle for J&K with an 83-ball 60 even as the batting collapsed around him. J&K were bowled out for 157 in 43.5 overs, completing their fourth successive loss in the tournament.

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