Rajwinder carries Punjab into knock-outs

A round-up of the latest round of matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy

Rush Kalaria picked up four wickets to help Gujarat beat Saurashtra  •  Fotocorp

Rush Kalaria picked up four wickets to help Gujarat beat Saurashtra  •  Fotocorp

North Zone

Delhi cruised to their fifth win in as many games in the North Zone group, winning by 62 runs against Services at the Feroz Shah Kotla and comfortably topping the points table. Delhi chose to bat, and all their batsmen barring Yogesh Nagar got into double figures, carrying the team to 275 for 7 in their 50. Shikhar Dhawan, Jagrit Anand and Puneet Bisht all made half-centuries. Services were off to a poor start, losing opener Jasvir Singh for a golden duck. They never really recovered, losing wickets at regular intervals. The only substantial contribution came from captain Yashpal Singh, who made 95. Eventually, Services were bowled out for 213 in 47 overs, with Pawan Suyal claiming 3 for 45.
Punjab secured their place in the knock-out rounds with an 84-run win against Himachal Pradesh at the Model Sports Complex. Batting first, Punjab put in a team effort - their top five all made double-digit contributions, with Gurkeerat Singh top scoring with 59. Rahul Singh produced the best figures for Himachal, taking three wickets in a tidy spell, as Punjab set a target of 218. Any hopes Himachal harboured of chasing that down were dashed by left-arm spinner Rajwinder Singh. He scalped five wickets for only 20 runs in 9.5 overs, resulting in Himachal folding for 133 in 41.5 overs.
There was not much to celebrate at the Haryana-Jammu & Kashmir clash at the Palam A Ground, with Haryana missing out on a spot in the knock-outs and J&K slipping to their fifth loss. Haryana's 22-run win over J&K meant they finished on 14 points in third place, with Punjab edging ahead of them courtesy their win against Himachal. Haryana only managed 198 for 8 - Raman Dutta did most of the damage for J&K with a maiden List A five-for - but that proved to be quite enough. Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal led the Haryana bowlers' charge, claiming a career best 6 for 24, as J&K were limited to 174 in 44.4 overs.

West Zone

Maharashtra will proceed to the knock-out stages of the Vijay Hazare Trophy from the West Zone group, alongside Mumbai, despite their six-wicket loss to Baroda at the Bandra Kurla Complex in the final round of group matches. Maharashtra chose to bat and were skittled out for 124 in 32.3 overs, their chief destroyers being the new-ball pair of Munaf Patel and Murtuja Vahora - the picked three wickets apiece. The chase was set up by Baroda's opener, Kedar Devdhar, who made 52 from 41 balls to all but seal the match. Left-arm spinner Akshay Darekar picked up three of the four Baroda wickets to fall.
In the other match in the group, Saurashtra were beaten by four wickets by Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium, meaning they go out of the competition winless. Saurashtra chose to bat, but the batting failed woefully. Only Cheteshwar Pujara put together an innings of note, scoring a solid 80 out of Saurashtra's 173. Pujara - the last man to be dismissed - was briefly supported Chiraj Jani, who made 42. Rush Kalaria picked up four wickets in the innings. In the chase, Saurashtra's Kamlesh Makvana and Nayan Doshi struck with regularity, but a succession of cameos was enough to see Baroda through in the 40th over.