Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 – Venkatesh Iyer’s dazzling 151 continues his dream run
KS Bharat wallops a match-winning 161 for Andhra while Nagaland crash to 48 all out against Tripura
Venkatesh Iyer followed scores of 112 and 71 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season with a dazzling 151, as Madhya Pradesh won a cliffhanger against Chandigarh by five runs. The blistering knock, which included 10 sixes and eight fours, took him to second among the highest run-getters in the competition, and continues a dream run that dates back to the second leg of the IPL in 2021
Iyer’s blitz downs Vohra, Kaushik’s centuries
Iyer arrived when Madhya Pradesh were 56 for 4, and added 122 with his captain Aditya Shrivastava, who departed after hitting 70. Cameos from the lower order propelled them to 331, but Iyer did most of the heavy lifting as the last five overs of the innings yielded a whopping 70 runs. Chandigarh were in turn reduced to 77 for 3 in the chase before captain Manan Vohra and Ankit Kaushik added 166. While Vohra fell for 105 and Kaushik hit 111, no other notable contribution meant Chandigarh fell short despite the tail threatening to stage an upset.
Dhawan fails again, Bharat shines, Pandey dips
In the midst of a competition for places in the Indian top-order, Shikhar Dhawan fell for 18 against Haryana. This follows on from the 0, 12 and 14 he got in the previous three matches. But despite that batting wobble, Delhi managed to inch past the opposition by 10 runs, thanks to Jonty Sidhu‘s century and Anuj Rawat‘s unbeaten 16-ball 44.
Just days after being left out of India’s Test squad for the South Africa tour, Andhra captain KS Bharat kept knocking on the India selectors’ doors with 161 off just 109 balls against Himachal Pradesh. Accompanied by Ashwin Hebbar‘s hundred, Andhra posted 322 to win by 30 runs in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Karnataka captain Manish Pandey had started the tournament with respectable scores of 64* and 40, but followed it up with 5 against Mumbai on Saturday and 19 in a paltry chase against Baroda on Sunday.
Youngsters Abhishek, Nagarkoti, Bishnoi and Parag deliver
Punjab opener Abhishek Sharma cracked a career-best 169* from 117 balls, as they eased past Services, who set them 261 to win. Abhishek’s innings featured 17 fours and nine sixes, ensuring Punjab romped home by nine wickets and more than 12 overs in the bank. Also, Rajasthan crushed Assam by 142 runs following centuries from Manender Singh and Mahipal Lomror, before legspinner Ravi Bishnoi and fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti combined to share seven wickets in the defense. Bishnoi, who claimed 4 for 45, ripped through the middle and lower orders after Nagarkoti’s twin early blows. The Assam batters struggled to keep up in a tall chase, with Riyan Parag top scoring with 51 from only 28 deliveries.
Sundar’s five in vain; Nagaland’s low
Washington Sundar nabbed his best List A figures of 5 for 48, as Tamil Nadu restricted Puducherry to 225. However, the effort went in vain after the match was truncated to 44 overs, in which Tamil Nadu were to get 205 but fell short by one run. They were 159 for 3 after 35 overs but lost their way once half-centurions N Jagadeesan and Dinesh Karthik were dismissed.
In a Plate Group match in Jaipur, Nagaland were skittled for 48 as Tripura’s Manisankar Murasingh grabbed 5 for 19, with only Imliwati Lemtur getting into double-figures. Six out of the 11 batters were dismissed for ducks, before the Tripura openers knocked off the target with 239 balls to spare.
Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo