Hyderabad: A well-organised Andhra pulled off an impressive 51-run run win over hosts Hyderabad in the opening Elite Group women’s one-day cricket league championship at AOC grounds on Wednesday.
At RRC grounds, defending champions Railways coasted away to a six-wicket victory over Madhya Pradesh. But it was the S Hima Bindu-led Andhra team that took the day’s honours. Electing to bat, Andhra put up 176 for 9 in 50 overs. In pursuit of a modest target, Hyderabad batting collapsed against a sustained Andhra attack and were all out for 125 in 38.2 overs.
In the process, the young Andhra team taught a lesson or two to Hyderabad on their way to victory. They batted sensibly, bowled superbly and were aided by splendid fielding. Hyderabad, on the other hand, came a cropper.
On a wicket where the odd-ball kept low, Andhra batters adjusted nicely. Openers M Durga (20) and N Anusha (41) shared 56 runs. The Hyderabad bowlers were at the best restrictive but not penetrative enough to take an early wicket. The home team broke the opening pair when the diminutive Durga was run out. But the tall Anusha showed flair and played some attractive shots in her 91-ball 41.
Off-spinner Kavya took four wickets for the home side and they looked in control when Andhra were reduced to 112 for 5. But Andhra managed to post a good competitive score through E Padmaja (29 not out) and G Sneha (21). Hyderabad ran into trouble and lost opener Himani Yadav and Ramya very early in the innings.
The hosts could never recover as Andhra bowlers were accurate and incisive. Andhra also excelled in the field. Sneha brought off a fine catch on the leg side to dismiss Sneha More while the dangerous Mamta Kanojia, who hit a 36-ball 34 (6×4), was brilliantly held by an agile Anjali Sarvani at point off off-spinner Padmaja, who varied his deliveries to return with four wickets. Once Kanojia was out, Hyderabad batting fell apart.
There were also two run outs in Hyderabad’s futile run chase. Playing her first big match after the World Cup, Indian captain Mithali Raj hit a 58-ball 38 to guide Railways to an easy victory in 45.4 overs. Mithali, who struck two fours only, stood tall as Railways suffered a mini-collapse. Openers Punam Rau (31) and Sarika Koti (41) gave a good start as they raised 82 runs. But both of them departed at the same score. Railways lost two more wickets but the experienced Mithali ensured a comfortable victory for the Railways.
At AOC: Andhra 176/9 in 50 overs (N Anusha 41, E Padmaja 29 not out; Kavya 4/32) bt Hyderabad 125 in 38.2 overs (Mamtha Kanojia 34, E Padmaja 4/25)
At RRC: Madhya Pradesh 150/9 in 50 overs (Nidhi Buuley 33, Swagathika Rath 3/25) lost to Railways 151/4 in 4 in 45.4 overs (Punam Rau 31, Sarika Koti 41, Mithali Raj 38 not out)