Saurashtra trounced Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha by eight wickets for a hat-trick of wins, helping them seal a quarterfinal berth in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Hosts Hyderabad rode on pacer Mohammed Siraj’s 5/37 to hammer Chhattisgarh by 84 runs and join Saurashtra in the last eight as Group D toppers.
Saurashtra edged out Vidarbha on a better net run-rate for the second spot as it was heartbreak for the reigning Ranji champions who were leading the group with four successive wins before back-to-back defeats knocked them out of the competition.
In a must win match, Vidarbha batsmen struggled to get a partnership going before being bundled out for 159 in 40.5 overs after Saurashtra captain Cheteshwar Pujara opted to field at the AOC Centre Thapar Stadium in Secunderabad.
Jaydev Unadkat (2/18) and Shaurya Sanandia (2/33) gave the early breakthroughs before Kamlesh Makvana (2/9) and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (2/32) wrapped up the issue.
Wicket-keeper batsman Avi Barot steered the chase with an unbeaten 91 off 114 balls (13×4, 2×6) while skipper Pujara remained not out on 46 off 74 balls (5×4) to seal the chase with 170 balls to spare, which was enough to go past Vidarbha on NRR.
Saurashtra’s quarterfinal hopes had received a setback after two losses in a row including a shock defeat to Jammu and Kashmir.
But they have turned it around in style with three comprehensive wins over Jharkhand, Services and Vidarbha.
At the Gymkhana Ground in Secunderabad, Hyderabad overcame a jittery start to post a challenging 280/8 with Bavanaka Sandeep as their top scorer on 79 while skipper Ambati Rayudu (46) and T Ravi Teja (45) also chipped in with valuable contributions.
In reply, Chhattisgarh were bundled out for 196 in 44.3 overs with Siraj returning with his second List A five-wicket haul, while left-arm spinner Mehdi Hasan claimed 2/28.
At AOC Centre Thapar Stadium, Secunderabad: Vidarbha 159; 40.5 overs (Jitesh Sharma 55; Kamlesh Makvana 2/9, Jaydev Unadkat 2/18, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 2/32, Shaurya Sanandia 2/33) lost to Saurashtra 161/2; 34 overs (Avi Barot 91 not out, Cheteshwar Pujara 46 not out) by eight wickets.
At Gymkhana Ground, Secunderabad: Hyderabad 280/8; 50 overs (BP Sandeep 79, Ambati Rayudu 46, T Ravi Teja 45; Pankaj Rao 3/52) beat Chhattisgarh 196; 44.3 overs (Amandeep Khare 71, Sanjeet Desai 47; Mohammed Siraj 5/37) by 84 runs.
At Rajiv Gandhi Stadium: Jharkhand 296/9; 50 overs (Virat Singh 96; Parvez Rasool 3/46, Umar Nazir 3/71) beat Jammu & Kashmir 199; 46 overs (S Pundir 74; Ashish Kumar 3/23, Vikash Singh 3/37) by 97 runs.