Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16, Group A December 17, 2015

Bhatia 94* trumps Rahane 114; Assam sink to sixth loss

ESPNcricinfo staff

File photo - Rajat Bhatia drilled eight fours and three sixes © BCCI

Ajinkya Rahane's century ended in vain as Rajasthan gunned down 302 against Mumbai with Rajat Bhatia's unbeaten 94 at the Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad.

Rajasthan lost opener Manender Singh early in the chase but Dishant Yagnik and Puneet Yadav pitched in with forties each to keep the scorecard ticking. Abhishek Nayar got rid of both, but Ashok Menaria and Bhatia took charge with a 145-run partnership, which tilted the balance in Rajasthan's favour. Bhatia drilled eight fours and three sixes and remained unbeaten on 94 off 71 balls.

Having opted to bowl, Rajasthan struck early, courtesy Pankaj Singh who got rid of Mumbai's top three. Aditya Tare then exited for a duck as Mumbai were left reeling at 44 for 4 within 12 overs. Rahane, however, combined well with Surya Kumar Yadav in a 125-run stand. By the time Rahane was out, Mumbai had reached 270, and they eventually crossed 300. Bhatia and Menaria then fired and kept their team in the race for the knockouts.

B Aparajith's fifty and a string of 20-plus scores trumped Tanmay Agarwal's second List A century as Tamil Nadu took a step closer to the knockouts. They chased down 231 in 47.5 overs to take their fourth win of the tournament, against Hyderabad.

Abhinav Mukund and Dinesh Karthik gave their side a solid base in the chase, adding 57 together. However, seamer Mohammed Siraj, playing his maiden List A match, produced a double-strike to remove the openers. M Vijay and Vijay Shankar propped up Tamil Nadu before R Ashwin and Aparajith dropped anchor. The pair put on 86 before Ravi Kiran had Aparajith caught behind for 55. Three balls later, the seamer had R Satish bowled for a duck. Ashwin was dismissed for 36 in the next over, but B Indrajith and Aswin Crist guided Tamil Nadu home with three wickets and 13 balls to spare.

Earlier, Agarwal led Hyderabad's recovery, striking 11 fours and 1 six during his 96-ball 105. Opener Danny Derek Prince got the next-best score - 31 off 41 balls. Tamil Nadu chipped away at the wickets, L Balaji, who was playing his first game of the season, the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3 for 33. He was complemented by Satish, Ashwin, and Shankar who grabbed two wickets each. This meant that Hyderabad were dismissed for 230 in 49.2 overs, a total that proved inadequate in the end.

A trio of fifties marshalled Services' chase of 262 as Assam sunk to their sixth loss in six matches. Opener Soumik Chatterjee gave the early impetus with Amit Pachhara before Rajat Paliwal built on the platform as Services sealed the deal in 45.2 overs in Secunderabad.

Having opted to bat, Assam were reduced to 28 for 2 in 7.4 overs by Diwesh Pathania. Sibsankar Roy and Amit Verma lifted their side with a 100-run partnership, but Pathania came back and sliced through the lower order, as Assam were restricted to 261. Pathania finished with career-best List A figures of 5 for 54.