Hyderabad: A near-century from opener P. Akshath Reddy and a crafty half-ton by captain A. T. Rayudu powered Hyderabad to a four-wicket win over Saurashtra in their Vijay Hazare Group ‘D’ one-day cricket match here on Friday. Replying to Saurashtra’s strong total of 277 for 7 in 50 overs, the hosts rode on brilliant knocks by Akshath and Rayudu to romp home with three balls to spare. Akshath slammed an almost run-a-ball 94 that included 10 fours and a six while Rayudu’s 76 came off 83 balls and was embellished with two boundaries and four sixes.
Lower down, No.7 Akash Bhandari contributed a valuable 41 not out. His 29-ball knock included five fours and a six. Earlier, Saurashtra’s star players — Robin Uthappa (14), Cheteshwar Pujara (10) and Ravindra Jadeja (7) — once again failed to get going after they opted to bat. It was opener Samarth Vyas who kept it going at one end with a fighting 57 before being cleaned up by the leg-spinner Bhandari, while lower down the order Prerak Mankad (62) and Arpit Vasavada (49) came up with significant contributions to post a fighting total.
Jadeja was tidy in his bowling conceding 39 from his full quota but returned wicketless, while left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat gave away 59 runs from his 10 overs. In another match, Diwesh Pathania’s unbeaten 100 in 77 balls that included 11 boundaries and four sixes went in vain as Services lost to Vidarbha by 17 runs while chasing 267.
Ranji champions Vidarbha overcame a jittery start at the Gymkhana Ground to consolidate their lead with 16 points from four matches. Half of Vidarbha’s side were dismissed for 50 runs inside 14 overs with Raushan Raj (3/49) ripping through their top- order. Karn Sharma came up with a splendid allround effort (54 and 2/50) while Apoorv Wankhade (73) and Akshay Karnewar (45) also made valuable contributions to lift them to a fighting 267/9.
Brief scores (4th round)
At RGICS: Saurashtra 277/7 in 50 overs (Samarth Vyas 57, Arpit Vasavada 49, Prerak Mankad 62, Chirag Jani 39 n.o, S. Sanandia 25 n.o, Mohammed Siraj 3/46) lost to Hyderbad 278/6 in 49.3 overs (K. Rohit Rayudu 20, P. Akshath Reddy 94 — 96b, 10x4, 1x6, A. T. Rayudu 76, Akash Bhandar 41 n.o, S. Sanandia 2/41, D. Jadeja 2/49). Points: Hyderabad-4. Saurashtra-0.
At Gymkhana: Vidarbha 267 for 9 in 50 overs (Faiz Fazal 20, A.V. Wankhade 45, S.B. Wagh 28 n.o, Raushan Raj 3/49, Y.U. Yadav 2/35, H.R. Sethi 2/28) bt Services 250 for 9 in 50 overs (Sowmik Chatterjee 54, Ashutosh Aman 34, Diwesh Pathania 100 n.o — 77b, 11x4, 6x6, R.N. Gurbani 2/47, Karn Sharma 2/50). Points: Vidharbha-4. Services-0.
At AOC: Chattisgarh 251 for 8 in 50 overs (Shashank Chandrakar 59, Abhimanyu Chauhan 21, A.N. Khare 21, Shabhan Khan 38, Vishal Singh 48, Ram Dayal 3/35, Umar Nazir 3/55) bt Jammu & Kashmir 246 in 49.3 overs (Ahmed Omar Banday 75, Bandeep Singh 28, Parvez Rasool 44, Shubham Singh Pundir 44, Manzoor Dar 24, Pankaj Rao 3/44, Shivendra Singh 3/46). Points: Chattisgarh-4. J&K-0.