Hyderabad: Left-hander Bavanaka Sandeep struck a 97-ball 96 (7×4, 1×6) and took a wicket to play a stellar role in Hyderabad’s creditable 14-run win over Andhra in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament at Just Ground in Bengaluru on Monday.
Thanks to Sandeep’s well-composed knock, Hyderabad made 281 for 8 in 50 overs. Andhra gave a good fight but managed 267 for 9 in 50 overs. Hyderabad will meet Mumbai in the semifinals on October 17.
Coach Arjun Yadav praised the team for the excellent victory. “It was a very good team effort. Sandeep batted exceptionally well. The bowlers bowled brilliantly, particularly in the death overs,” he said.
Put into bat, Hyderabad openers Tanmay Agarwal and Akshath Reddy put on 38 runs. Left-arm medium pacer Prithvi Raj gave the breakthrough by dismissing Akshath and left-handed Tanmay (31) followed his partner in the 16 over. Left-hander Rohit Rayudu fell to Prithvi Raj and Hyderabad were 97 for 3 in 21.2 overs.
Sandeep looked in good touch. He was at his fluent best and stroked the ball to a nicety. He brought up his 50 off 49 balls. Sandeep and skipper Ambati Rayudu, who was playing his first match, stitched 68 runs before the latter was run out with the point fielder hitting the stumps at non-striker’s end.
Kolla Sumanth, the architect of Hyderabad’s win against Odisha in the Group B league match, made a 27-ball 27. But he departed in the 42nd over. Sandeep continued to impress with his flawless knock. He was unfortunate to miss the century when he edged medium pacer Ayyappa to the wicketkeeper in the 50th over. But his splendid 96 enabled Hyderabad to post a challenging total.
Mohammad Siraj, who was released from the Test team along with G Hanuma Vihari, had KS Bharat caught at point in the sixth over. Opener Ashwin Hebbar (38) and skipper Vihari were in punishing mood but Sandeep, bowling his left-arm spin, broke the pair when he sent back Hebbar.
But after Hebbar’s departure, Vihari (95 off 99, 8×4, 4×6) and Ricky Bhui (52) were involved in an entertaining stand of 112 runs for the third wicket. They began to take control of the match. However, Siraj, who came back for his second spell, snatched the initiative from Andhra when he had Bhui caught at third man.
Coach Yadav said it was a brilliant spell. “Siraj bowled beautifully. He brought us back into the match with those two crucial wickets. I think Vihari and Bhui batted splendidly but we knew if break this partnership we would be back in the match,” said Yadav.
Ravi Kiran cleaned up the danger man DB Ravi Teja, who has been prolific scorer in league, and Siraj then took the big wicket of Vihari, who played on to be bowled. Hyderabad fast bowlers were spot on and left-arm seamer CV Milind scalped the wicket of B Sumanth. Ravi Kiran got rid of the big-hitting Karn Sharma and Hyderabad were well on course to victory.