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News

Vijay Hazare Trophy: Rajasthan and Haryana enter quarter-finals

Mumbai, Kerala, Karnataka in knockouts; other knockout spots will be finalised on December 5 after the last round of league matches

File photo: Deepak Hooda top-scored for Rajasthan  •  Getty Images

File photo: Deepak Hooda top-scored for Rajasthan  •  Getty Images

Captain Deepak Hooda led Rajasthan from the front to confirm their quarter-final berth in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with a 43-run win against Himachal Pradesh in Chandigarh. The teams that top each of the five groups will earn direct quarter-final qualification and Rajasthan did that by taking an unassailable lead at the top of Group D, with 20 points and a match to go for most teams, with second-placed Gujarat, with 14 points, not in a position to overtake Rajasthan even if they win their last game against HP.
Hooda's 77 off 90 balls from No. 5, after a patient 61 off 110 by opener Ram Chouhan, and a quick 51 off 30 in the end by Karan Lamba powered Rajasthan to 260 for 7. Mayank Dagar finished with expensive figures of 3 for 53 from eight overs while Vinay Galetiya and Vaibhav Arora picked up two apiece in their frugal ten-over spells. HP's reply was mainly led by two half-centurions: Ekant Sen's 56 at the top and Sumeet Verma's attacking 73 off 51 from No. 6. But Aniket Choudhary's 4 for 44 broke the back of the middle order and also dented their chances of making the knockouts.
In Group C, a strong display from Haryana's bowling attack powered them into the quarter-finals as they bowled out Karnataka for just 143 before completing a five-wicket in. Haryana are currently on top with 24 points and Karnataka second with 20 points and a match to go, and even if the two teams end on 24 (if Haryana lose to Jammu & Kashmir and Karnataka beat Mizoram) at the end of the league stage, the team that has won the head-to-head contest between the joint-table-toppers will get the first position and direct quarter-final qualification.
Despite the loss, Karnataka reached the knockouts because even if they lose their last game and finish on 20, and are levelled by Uttarakhand (if they win their last match), the head to head between Karnataka and Uttarakhand is in favour of Karnataka.
The victory was even more momentous for Haryana, being their first 50-over win against Karnataka since they first played each other in 2006. Sumit Kumar led the attack with three wickets, complemented by two each from Anshul Kamboj, Nishant Sindhu and Yuzvendra Chahal, which reduced Karnataka 42 for 5, 74 for 8 and then 102 for 9 before Vijaykumar Vyshak's counter-attacking 54 from No. 10 stretched the score to 143. Haryana had an early stutter in the chase when V Koushik's twin strikes reduced them to 35 for 3, but Sindhu (43) and Rohit Sharma (63) combined for a 99-run stand to all but seal the chase.

Mumbai, Kerala enter knockouts but not in quarter-finals yet

Tripura caused an upset in Bengaluru by beating Mumbai by 53 runs (VJD method), but Mumbai still managed to retain their position at the top of the Group A table with 20 points, the same as Kerala, and well clear of third-placed Tripura, who can't make the knockouts anymore.
Since the top-two teams of each group reach the knockouts, Mumbai and Kerala are through, but which one goes to the quarter-finals directly and which makes the pre-quarter-finals will be decided after their last games. Even on Tuesday, if the two teams finish on the same points, Mumbai will make the quarters because they defeated Kerala in their fixture earlier in the league stage.