Gujarat set up a quarter-final clash against Plate Group table-toppers Goa by defeating Andhra, who also qualified, by eight wickets in the final round of league matches. Among the other matches, Rajasthan and Hyderabad handed Delhi and Vidarbha frustrating draws in their respective clashes.
Axar Patel sends Gujarat to top of the pile
Day four at Nadiad was a mere ceremony for this year’s Group A table-toppers. Play resumed with Andhra at 216 for seven — trailing Gujarat by 13 runs — but the hosts had to wait 11 overs to find their first breakthrough. Siddharth Desai trapped KV Sasikanth in front before Man of the Match Axar Patel finished the job and completed a 10-wicket match haul — three for 33 and seven for 92. Set 30 to win, the hosts lost two wickets in two balls in the fifth over but completed the job another five overs later to take home all six points. Gujarat will now play Plate Group table-toppers Goa at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium in Valsad, while Andhra will play Saurashtra in Ongole.
Mahipal Lomror century prevents Delhi’s innings-win
In the end, Delhi will be left to rue their missed opportunity to register an innings-win and end the season on a high — especially having posted 623 batting first. But that’s not to take anything away from the resolve shown by the Rajasthani batsmen, who batted 68 overs in the day, adding 217 runs to their overnight score of 128 for two with a further loss of only four wickets. The effort was led by their promising young gun in Lomror, who struck 14 fours and two sixes en route his 118. His effort was ably supported by that of Rituraj Singh (58) and Salman Khan (56 not out), as Rajasthan reached 345 for six when the captains settled for a draw.
Vidarbha ends disappointing campaign with fourth draw
The defending champions have officially bowed out — that too with a result highly resemblant of the season they’ve had. Two wins, two losses, and four drawn matches, numbers that are simply not good enough for a team trying to defend their crown. But even though their fate was already sealed before the final day of play began, the inability to close off Hyderabad’s tail, having had them at 139 for seven overnight, will hurt Faiz Fazal and Co. badly. If Kolla Sumanth’s 65 was frustrating, tailender Mohammed Siraj smashing them for six sixes in his 27-ball 46 was humiliating. Set 184 to win, the visitors could only muster 116 for three before the curtains were drawn. Perhaps the only consolation would be skipper Fazal winning the Man-of-the-Match award for his 151 in the first innings.