Medium pacer Ashith Rajiv returned with a four-wicket haul as Puducherry sailed past Assam by five wickets to seal a quarterfinal spot in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Thursday.
Karnataka, Puducherry, Punjab, Gujarat, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and Chhattisgarh are the eight teams to have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
These is how the lineup for the last eight teams looks this year: Karnataka vs Puducherry, Delhi vs Gujarat, Punjab vs Tamil Nadu, Mumbai vs Chhattisgarh.
One of the sub-plots of the Vijay Hazare quarterfinals is set to be the return of Vinay Kumar to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, for the Puducherry side against Karnataka.
Electing to field in their must-win final Plate Group match on Thursday, Puducherry bowlers set the tone by reducing Assam to 92/5 in 27 overs before Rajiv (4/17) rattled the lower order to bundle them out for a paltry 115 runs in 36.1 overs.
— Cricket Association of Pondicherry (@CApondicherry) October 17, 2019
In reply, Puducherry cantered home in 22 overs after overcoming some minor hiccups up front as they topped the table with 32 points to grab the solitary spot up for grab from the Plate Group.
Six points behind, Chandigarh and Uttarkhand finished second and third on net run-rate.
On a day veteran seamer Vinay Kumar looked off-colour after being smashed for 30 runs from his six overs, off-spinner Suresh Kumar (2/19 from four overs) put the brakes by dismissing Assam opener Pallavkumar Das (27) and Parvez Aziz (two) in successive overs.
Captain Shibsankar Roy (24) and Gokul Sharma (19) tried to forge a partnership but their 43-run stand was broken by left-arm spinner Sagar Udeshi (2/20).
The skipper too followed suit in a space of seven balls after which Ashith wreaked havoc with his four-wicket burst to trigger Assam collapse.
Meanwhile, Manipur pacer Bishworjit Konthoujam claimed a hat-trick on way to a career-best seven for 54 but his brilliant effort went in vain as Nagaland bowlers held their nerves to defend 240 and script a thrilling five-run win at the Tanush Academy Ground.
(With PTI inputs)