Hyderabad: Hyderabad flattered to deceive as their challenge fell flat against Vidarbha. The Ranji Trophy champions recorded a whopping 237-run win over the hosts in the third round of the Group D Vijay Hazare one-day league match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Thursday.
Skipper Fiaz Fazal, who was one of the architects of successful Ranji Trophy campaign this season, returned to form in style as he hammered a 97-ball 103 (9×4, 3×6) in Vidarbha’s big score of 350 for 7 in 50 overs. In pursuit of a huge target, Hyderabad, who impressed in the first two matches, collapsed like nine pins to be all out for 113 in 34.2 overs.
The left-handed Fazal, who failed to open his account in the first two matches, was back in his familiar role for Vidarbha. The skipper handled the early pressure and seized the initiative from Hyderabad bowlers with some attractive and bold batting. T Ravi Teja may have given Hyderabad an early success when he induced opener JM Sharma to edge to the wicketkeeper.
But Fazal was rock solid. He punished the Hyderabad bowlers. The skipper stitched 118 runs with SS Ramaswamy (39) before Hyderabad got their second wicket. Ravi Teja took his second wicket when Ramaswamy was caught at mid- wicket. Meanwhile, Fazal got to his 50 off 46 balls and then reached his century off 90 balls. He finally holed out to long on. Hyderabad seemed to take control of the match when the consistent Ganesh Satish missed the line and was lbw to leg spinner Akash Bhandari. Vidarbha were 197 for 4 in 33.1 overs.
Hyderabad were in control of the match at that stage. Vidarbha soon turned the tables through the fifth wicket pair of left-hander RL Jangid (81, 62 balls; 6×4, 3×6) and the tall AV Wankhede (66; 43 balls, 3×4, 5×6). The left-right combination went berserk against Hyderabad attack that wilted under pressure.
Jangid opened the floodgates in the 43rd over when he belted two sixes and two fours in Mohammad Siraj’s seventh over. The pace bowler conceded 21 runs in that over. Wankhede joined the act. He then struck three successive sixes off Siraj, who erred in line and length. His slower and overpitched deliveries were dispatched to the boundaries with disdain. Siraj leaked as many as 66 runs in his last four overs. To add to Hyderabad’s woes, the reliable M Ravi Kiran, too, failed to stop the run flow. Vidarbha amassed 114 runs in the last 10 overs. Jangid and Wankhede shared 143 runs off 93 balls to take the match away from Hyderabad.
In contrast, Vidarbha attack was sharp. Opener Akshath Reddy failed to rise to the occasion when it mattered most. He was out for six. He was snapped in the slips off left-arm seamer Wagh. Last-match centurion Rohit Rayudu was dismissed in the fifth over. The left-hander was done in by Test bowler Umesh Yadav, who gathered good pace on the flat wicket. B Sandeep, too, disappointed. The left-hander was caught behind off Wagh.
Hyderabad’s challenge fizzled out in the 13th over when skipper Ambati Rayudu, who returned after a two-match ban, holed out to long on. It was an abject surrender by Hyderabad batsmen in the end. This was Vidarbha’s third successive win while Hyderabad suffered their first loss.