Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 November 21, 2014

Pandey powers Karnataka into semis

ESPNcricinfo staff

Manish Pandey continued to dominate bowlers in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, stroking an unbeaten 99 to help Karnataka gun down 287 against Mumbai in the last over in Vadodara. Pandey's last five knocks in the competition now read: 99*, 56, 101*, 69* and 75, meaning he has scored 400 runs at an average of 200.

Set 287 for victory, Karnataka lost Mayank Agarwal early, but Robin Uthappa laid a solid platform by hitting 43 off 45 balls. Mumbai fought back with two quick wickets, but Pandey and Stuart Binny counterattacked by stringing together a 119-run stand for the fourth wicket. Binny struck three fours and a six during his 58, but was dismissed in the 39th over, with Karnataka still needing another 84 runs. Karun Nair, however, eased the team's nerves by blasting a 23-ball 32, and Pandey stayed till the end, ensuring that Karnataka won with two balls to spare, and reached the semi-finals for the second consecutive season.

Mumbai, having been inserted, had earlier made 286 for 8 from their 50 overs. Their innings was built around a 135-run partnership between Shreyas Iyer (77) and Suryakumar Yadav (67), who both raised crucial half-centuries. For Karnataka, Abhimanyu Mithun and S Aravind snared two wickets apiece.

A five-wicket haul from the medium-pacer Baltej Singh, followed by fifties from Yuvraj Singh and Gurkeerat Singh Mann helped Punjab down Railways by five wickets at the Moti Bagh Stadium. Batting first, Railways began brightly, as Asad Pathan and Abhishek Kaushik added 50 in 7.3 overs, before Anustup Majumdar powered the innings by scoring 76, with 11 fours. However, the team lost ground with a number of late wickets, and were eventually kept to 243 for 9 from their 50 overs. Baltej took 5 for 33, including three wickets in the 46th over, while Sandeep Sharma grabbed 2 for 51.

Punjab were in control throughout the chase. They started with an opening partnership of 57 between Amitoze Singh (43) and Manan Vohra (32), and a second-wicket stand of 53 between Amitoze and Mandeep Singh (32). Railways got rid of Mandeep in the 29th over, but Yuvraj and Gurkeerat's 75-run partnership helped Punjab past the 200-run mark. Yuvraj fell for a 52-ball 56 after striking five fours and four sixes, but Gurkeerat remained unbeaten on 56 to guide the team home with 16 deliveries to spare.

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