Karnataka and Tamil Nadu keep winning
Tamil Nadu picked up their third easy win in a row, thanks to S Anirudha's maiden List A century, which helped them crush Hyderabad by eight wickets at the India Cements Limited Guru Nanak College ground in Chennai. Anirudha's 134 ensured that Tamil Nadu did not feel the absence of three of their main batsmen - Dinesh Karthik, M Vijay and S Badrinath - who are with the Test team in Kolkata. He added 152 at just less than a run-a-ball with Abhinav Mukund for the first wicket, setting Tamil Nadu up to overhaul the target of 251 with more than 12 overs to spare. The target would have been a lot stiffer had it not been for a spectacular collapse earlier in the morning, Hyderabad losing their final seven wickets for 20 runs after half-centuries from Ambati Rayudu and opener Akshath Reddy had taken them to 230 for 3.
Karnataka also maintained a perfect record, easing to a seven-wicket victory over Kerala on the back of a century from the in-form Ganesh Satish at the MRF Pachyappas ground. Kerala were in trouble at 83 for 4 after choosing to bat, but captain Raiphi Gomez (68) and Karimuttathu Rakesh (41) put on a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket to bail them out. A brisk 30 from wicketkeeper Akshay Kodoth took Kerala to a competitive 246, but that didn't prove too much of a challenge for a strong Karnataka line-up. R Jonathan made his second half-century of the tournament and Manish Pandey slammed a quick 47 but the star was Satish, who hit 14 fours and two sixes in his 98-ball 121. It was his second hundred of the tournament, to go with his 82 against Andhra, and kept him top of the run charts.
At the Central Polytechinc India Pistons ground, Goa picked up their first win of the campaign, a five-wicket victory over Andhra. Medium-pacer Saurabh Bandekar was the star with the ball, taking three wickets in five overs to leave Andhra reeling at 63 for 5. Vemu Lenin, playing his first senior tournament at the age of 27, then made a battling 78 to lift Andhra to 207. The experienced S Sriram guided the Goa chase, making an unbeaten 84 to finish the match with 11.2 overs remaining. Bandekar assisted him with a breezy 31, and the pair put on 76 for the fifth wicket, the biggest stand of the match.
Monish Mishra launched a fearsome onslaught on the Uttar Pradesh attack at the Maharani Usharaje Trust Cricket Ground to give Madhya Pradesh their second consecutive win in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Mishra's knock, coming in at number three, made light of two early losses in the chase of 275 off 45 overs. Eight sixes and ten fours were hammered as he took a special liking to Sudeep Tyagi's medium-pace which conceded 52 in five overs. Tyagi managed to hit back and remove both Mishra and his partner-in-crime Jalaj Saxena who scored 69, but it was only temporary solace. Harpreet Singh finished the match in a hurry, with a blistering 56 off 31 balls. The chase totally overshadowed the efforts of Tanmay Srivastava, who struck 104 and Eklavya Dwivedi who contributed 89, as UP progressed to a strong score.
Sanjay Bangar served a reminder of his allround abilities to give Railways the extra point against Vidarbha at the Emerald High School Ground in Indore. He started his handiwork in his first over, the second of Vidarbha.s innings, when he got Akshay Kolhar's wicket. Amit Paunikar, Ravi Jangid and Ranjit Paradkar set things right briefly and Vidarbha were well in control at 140 for 2 in the 27th over. However things went pear-shaped from there on in, as three run-outs and some tight bowling from the spinners Murali Kartik and Karan Sharma checked the progress of the innings. Karan finished with two wickets, before Bangar came back to blow away the tail, and the innings closed at 207. Bangar continued to stamp his authority with a scintillating knock that ensured that the result was never in doubt. By the time he fell in the 32nd over, he had smacked five sixes and 13 fours for 115 off 98 balls.
A gutsy last-wicket stand spearheaded by the nervesless Shitanshu Kotak made all the difference as Saurasthra outlasted Mumbai in an attritional battle at Sardar Patel Stadium B in Ahmedabad. Batting first, Mumbai never came to terms with the conditions, slowly progressing to 63 for 2 in the 19th over before losing the plot. Five wickets fell for 33 runs as Sandeep Jobanputra, Jayesh Odedra and Ravindra Jadeja struck regularly. Abhishek Nayar's sedate 36 and a minor salvage operation from the tail gave Mumbai 159 and something to bowl at. Saurashtra's reply had disaster written all over it as they lost wickets with alarming regularity to some tight bowling from the trio of Ramesh Powar, Ajit Agarkar and Iqbal Abdulla. At 119 for 9, Mumbai would have thought that it was only a matter of time before the last wicket fell, but it was not to be. Number 11, Jaidev Unadkat, blocked around for 55 minutes and 24 balls which yielded him four runs, but more significantly gave Kotak the elbow-room to inch his side through to the target. The paid had added 40, tellingly the highest stand of the day, when the hard-fought victory came in the 47th over.
No such thrills in the adjoining Sardar Patel Stadium C where Baroda romped home against Gujarat by the comfortable margin of 71 runs. Pinal Shah's busy 77 took advantage of the toss and set Baroda up for a big score. Yusuf Pathan kept the momentum going with a chirpy 40 from number four, before Swapnil Singh and Abhimanyu Chauhan brought up a strong finish to take their side to 297 for 7. Nileshkumar Chauhan's haul of 3 for 50 gave Gujarat some solace in an otherwise shoddy display. Niraj Patel led Gujarat's chase with a pugnacious 83 off 82 balls, but no one else from his side had the stomach for a fight. Wickets fell with monotonous regularity through the innings before Yusuf hastened the end with 3 for 7 in his 1.5 overs, which gave his side the bonus point.