Bengal reach knockout phase
Bengal secured a place in the next round after thumping victory over Assam at the Maharaja Bir Bikram College Stadium in Agartala. Bengal were behind Orissa by a point in the East Zone table at the start of the last match day of the group stages, but took five from the game against Assam, and were also helped by Orissa's loss to Jharkhand. Bengal's bowlers ran through Assam's line-up, bowling them out for 111, and the batsmen chased the score in 19.4 overs, giving them a seven-wicket victory. Left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena took three wickets, but it was Bengal's seamers who did the early damage. Anustup Majumdar top scored with 32 off 36 balls.
Jharkhand smothered Orissa's hopes of qualifying for the next round, with a convincing win at the Polytechnic Institute Ground in Agartala. Two early wickets from Kuldeep Sharma, and a run-out, left Orissa at 15 for 3 after being put in to bat. The steady fall of wickets continued with only Paresh Patel's 79 offering any resistance, and Orissa were all out for 176. Jharkhand took their time in the chase, eventually winning by seven wickets with eight balls remaining. Opener Akash Verma got a quick 49, but Ishank Jaggi and Saurabh Tiwary batted cautiously as both ended unbeaten with 48 runs each.
Haryana beat Jammu & Kashmir by five wickets at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Una, in the final round of Vijay Hazare Trophy group matches, to top the North Zone points table. The match had been reduced to 32 overs a side and J&K, who were put into bat, maintained a run-a-ball run-rate for most part. But they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and finished on 191 for 9. Lower-order batsman Abid Nabi struck four sixes and top scored for J&K with an unbeaten 40 off 26 balls. The pick of the Haryana bowlers was part-time left-arm spinner Hemang Badani, who took 3 for 26 off six overs. J&K's Ram Dayal dismissed Haryana's openers off successive balls with the score on 46, but an 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Sunny Singh and Nitin Saini, all but sealed the game for Haryana. The game finished with an over to spare.
Punjab finished the group stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a five-wicket win over Himachal Pradesh at Sector 16 Stadium in Chandigarh, to finish second in the North Zone points table. Electing to bat, Himachal put up a sizeable 278 for 8 in 50 overs courtesy an 84-ball 72 from Vinit Indulkar and knocks of 40-plus by Manvinder Bisla, Hemant Dogra and Mukesh Sharma. Punjab were unfazed in their chase, knocking off the target with 11 balls to spare with five wickets in hand. Captain and wicketkeeper Uday Kaul controlled the chase until he was run out by Indulkar for 87 off 98 balls.
Delhi defeated Services by 11 runs in a game that was shortened to 43 overs a side at the Dhruve Pandove Stadium in Patiala. Being put in to bat, none of the Delhi batsmen were able to churn out a big innings; the top scorer being opener Ankur Julka with 40 off 63 balls. Services' medium-pacer Sumit Singh played a big role in restricting Delhi to 187, picking up 4 for 36 in nine overs. But the total proved to be enough in the end, as Services managed just 176 for 8 . Sumit Narwal caused most of the damage, knocking over four Services' batsmen in an eight-over spell.
Centuries from Abhinav Mukund and Dinesh Karthik sealed victory at the Perintalmanna Cricket Stadium in Malappuram and top-spot in the table for Tamil Nadu, leaving their opponents Hyderabad at the bottom. Karthik's was a blistering knock, his unbeaten 154 coming off just 83 balls and ensuring Tamil Nadu reached a mammoth 376. Ravi Teja's century helped Hyderabad make a fist of the chase, but he failed to receive support from the other batsmen as Hyderabad lost by 88 runs. Mukund (105) laid the platform for Tamil Nadu's big total with a 129-run stand with Arun Karthik, who made 65. Mukund then played second fiddle to Karthik, who smashed 17 fours and seven sixes off the Hyderabad bowlers, as Tamil Nadu took 118 runs off the last 10 overs.
Karnataka joined Tamil Nadu in the next round, after beating Kerala by five wickets at Fort Maidan in Palakkad. Karnataka's bowlers set up the victory, bowling Kerala out for 194, and then the batsmen, despite three run-outs, finished the job in 40.5 overs. Raju Bhatkal was the most successful of Karnataka's seamers, taking 3 for 16, while CM Gautam shone with the bat, scoring 65 not out off 59 balls.
All the knockout matches will be played in Indore.