Jharkhand power into semis

Jharkhand produced another all-round show to tame a formidable Maharashtra and move into the semifinal of the Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament here on Monday.

After restricting Maharashtra to a modest 181 all out in 42.2 overs, Jharkhand reached the revised target of 127 from 34 overs with 10 balls to spare at the cost of openers Anand Singh and skipper Ishan Kishan (28) at the M Chinnaswamy stadium. Their eight-wicket win saw them set up a semifinal clash with Delhi on Thursday.

Opting to bowl first, Jharkhand attack proved their captain right by getting regular breakthroughs. That some of the Maharashtra batsmen gifted their wickets attempting some outrageous shots, completely oblivious to the situation, didn’t help their cause. At 50/1, Maharashtra were making a steady progress but Varun Aaron, returning for his second spell, caused a big damage removing Swapnil Gugale and their in-form batsman Ankeet Bawne who nicked the ball down the leg to wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan. Naushad Shaikh was barely ‘in’ when he attempted to slog left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem out of the park only to miss the line and see his middle stump knocked down by an arm ball.

From 50 for one Maharashtra slipped to 72 for four, leaving it on the experienced pair of Rohit Motwani and skipper Rahul Tripathi to revive the innings and the duo set about its task in all earnest. The pair added 76 runs off 97 balls but their job was far from over when Tripathi got too ambitious. In the previous over Tripathi had struck a six and in the over he got out (32nd), he had taken a four off the first ball. He could have just rotated the strike but after playing out three dots, the right-hander went for a big one and the miscued shot ballooned right in front of the sight screen for long-on to complete a simple catch.

Tripathi was only the first of Anukul Roy’s four victims to fall on the day. The left-arm spinner returned a rich haul of 4/32 to hasten the end of Maharashtra innings along with paceman Rahul Shukla (3/35) who added two more to go with his dismissal of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. Maharashtra added a mere 33 runs for their last five wickets in 11.1 overs as they failed to even play out their quota of overs.      

Jharkhand went about their chase cautiously well aware that VJD method may come into effect given the overcast conditions. It eventually did, holding up the game on two occasions -- first for 15 minutes and then for 57. After the first stoppage, the target was revised to 174 from 47 overs and after the second interruption, the target was reset to 127 from 34. At this stage Jharkhand needed 38 from seven overs which they achieved in 32.2 overs with eight wickets in hand.

Hyderabad edge Andhra 

In the other semifinal, Mumbai will take on Hyderabad who knocked out their neighbours Andhra by 14 runs in the fourth quarterfinal at Just Cricket ground.

After posting 281 for eight in 50 overs upon being put into bat first, Hyderabad restricted a spirited Andhra to 267 for nine in 50 overs to eke out a fighting win. Hyderabad will take on Mumbai in the semifinal on Wednesday.

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Jharkhand power into semis

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