Nath, Rinku guide UP to quarter-finals with five-wicket win over MP

Jaipur, Dec 19 (Cricket News) Experienced Akshdeep Nath's stroke-filed 78 and a responsible unbeaten 58 by Rinku Singh formed the cornerstone of Uttar Pradesh's five-wicket win over Madhya Pradesh in the pre-quarter-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Sunday.

With the win, Uttar Pradesh qualified for the quarter-finals of the national ODI championship and will now take on Himachal on December 21.

First, despite Shubham Sharma's responsible 83, Madhya Pradesh were bundled out for a sub-par 234 as UP bowlers wreaked havoc on their lower order.

Nath then anchored the chase and Rinku gave the finishing touches as they saw their side home.

Put into bat at the Jaipuria Vidhyalaya ground here, Madhya Pradesh was teetering at 0/1 after ace speedster Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/46) castled opener Abhishek Bhandari (0) in the first over.

Rameez Khan (35 off 68 balls) and in-form Shubham Sharma (83 off 99 balls) then rallied the innings with their 73-run stand for the second wicket.

The duo took on the Uttar Pradesh attack with gusto, while Rameez hammered four fours, Sharma's patient knock was laced with 10 boundaries.

When it looked like the duo would score big, Khan was run-out in the 20th over, with MP poised at 73/2.

Sharma then found an able ally in experienced campaigner Rajat Patidar (46 off 49 balls; 3×4; 1×6) as the duo then conjured 78 runs for the third wicket and rallied the innings.

While Sharma was the cynosure of eyes and toyed with the UP attack, Patidar, who came two-down, played his part to perfection.

However, Shivam Sharma (1/47) castled Shubham in the 34th over to bring his side back into the game.

The UP bowlers then did not allow MP batters to settle down and grabbed quick wickets of Patidar and Venkatesh Iyer (30) as MP slipped to 204/5.

MP suffered a lower order collapse as they lost the last five wickets for meagre 30 runs and were eventually shot out for 234.

Chasing 235, UP was reeling at 7/2 as pacer Avesh Khan (2/47) struck in the fifth over. Opener Madhav Kaushik (29; 6×4) also wasn't able to convert his start and became medium pacer Venkatesh Iyer’s (1/40) only scalp.

Sameer Rizvi (38) and experienced Aksh Deep Nath, who hit seven boundaries and a six, then took the game deep with their 58-run stand for the fourth wicket. But Patidar ran out Rizvi as UP slipped to 101/4.

However, Nath was going strong from one end and was then well-supported by 24-year-old left-handed batter Rinku Singh, who hit five boundaries.

The duo added 97 runs for the fifth wicket and took the game away from MP. Once Nath fell in the 45th over, it was up to Rinku to see the side home.

The southpaw did not disappoint and in company of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 not out) ensured that the team chased the target with five balls to spare.

Brief Scores: Madhya Pradesh 234 (Shubham Sharma 83; Rajat Patidar 46; Yash Dayal 3/35 Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/46;) lost to Uttar Pradesh 237/5 (Akshdeep Nath 78; Rinku Singh 58 not out; Avesh Khan 2/47) by 5 wickets. 

Also Read : Vijay Hazare Trophy: Karnataka beats Rajasthan by eight wickets, sets up QF clash with TN

News Source : PTI


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