Rains. Wet-outfield. One-sided games. Upsets. Damp squibs. It was another day of contrasting fortunes at the 2019-20 Vijay-Hazare Trophy. Out of the six scheduled games, two were abandoned [without toss] courtesy wet outfield. While the likes of Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Services pulled off impressive victories, Puducherry, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim had to settle with equal points.
Here’s our daily round-up of the 2019-20 Vijay-Hazare Trophy:
Round 03, Elite Group C
In a refreshing change all the three games in Round 03, Elite Group C got results on Friday. While the game between Madhya Pradesh and Railways was reduced to 32 overs per side, the matches between Services & Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan didn’t have rain or outfield issues to cause any hindrance.
As far as the match between Madhya Pradesh and Railways is concerned, it turned out to be deja-vu in reverse-order for both sides. After receiving a shellacking in their first game against Tripura, MP bounced back strongly to pull-off a three-wicket win against Railways.
The win was set-up by Madhya Pradesh’s new-ball opening pair of Ishwar Pandey [3-15] and Gaurav Yadav [5-45]. The duo shared eight wickets between them and Railways batsmen, who had looked imperious in their last outing, looked clueless.
Defending a lowly 108, Railways needed something inspirational from their bowlers and Pradeep T showed the way by running through MP’s top-order, claiming four wickets in the process. But, skipper Naman Ojha’s unbeaten 60 and a handy 12-ball 15 by Venkatesh Iyer ensured MP moves past the finishing line in 24.1 overs.
The same happened in the game between Services and Tripura. Services, who were handed a 212-run hammering by Tamil Nadu in their opening fixture, responded with a clinical performance against Tripura, handing the latter their first defeat of the tournament. Ravi Chauhan’s 104 and a half-century from captain Rajat Paliwal  were the cornerstones of the turnaround by the Services, as the duo helped them post a competitive 9-241 after 50 over despite Ajoy Sarkar’s 5-37.
In reply, Tripura batsmen got starts and neither of them went on and converted it into a three-figure score. The only partnership of substance was between Tanmay Mishra  and Pratyush Singh . The duo added 73 runs for the fifth wicket but just as it looked they would take their side home, a fatal collapse ensued post the dismissal of Tanmay Mishra; one that saw them lose their last six wickets for 56 runs and ultimately squander the match by 19 runs.
But, perhaps the biggest surprise [pleasant] of the day came in the match between Jammu & Kashmir and Rajasthan. Against a bowling attack that boasted of three Indian internationals- Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, and Khaleel Ahmed- JK batsmen smashed them to the tune of 5-317 in 50 overs.
Shubham Khajuria  and Shubham Pundir  were the cornerstones around which JK built the mountain that was 5-317. Chasing 318, Rajasthan needed everyone to chip-in; something they clearly didn’t achieve with their top-3 scoring almost 71% [188 runs out of 261], eventually losing the match by 55 runs.
Madhya Pradesh vs Railways
RLYS: 108 all-out in 32.1 overs (Karn Sharma 25, Pradeep T 23; Ishwar Pandey 3-15, Gaurav Yadav 5-45)
MP: 7-109 in 24.1 overs (Naman Ojha 60*; Pradeep T 4-42, Himanshu Sangwan 2-37)- Madhya Pradesh won by three wickets
Services vs Tripura
SER: 9-241 in 50.0 overs (Ravi Chauhan 104, Rajat Paliwal 59; Ajoy Sarkar 5-37)
TRI:222 all out in 47.3 overs (Tanmay Mishra 57, Pratyush Singh 47; Varun Choudhary 3-40, Pulkit Narang 2-51)- Services won by 19 runs
Jammu & Kashmir vs Rajasthan
JK: 5-317 in 50.0 overs (Shubham Pundir 96*, Shubham Khajuriya 94; Rahul Chahar 2-50)
RAJ: 262 all out in 49.0 overs (Mahipal Lamror 88, Chetan Bist 72; Ram Dayal 4-45, Abid Mushtaq 2-22) – Jammu & Kashmir won by 55 runs
Round 03, Plate
Unlike Elite Group C where we saw all the three matches producing a result, we weren’t that lucky in the Plate encounters. Three games were scheduled for Friday but sadly only one of them produced a result.
While the encounters between Puducherry & Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh & Sikkim were abandoned [without toss] due to wet outfield, the match between Uttarakhand and Assam was reduced to 28 overs per side. Uttarakhand registered their first win of the tournament after they successfully chased down 172, set by Assam. Uttarakhand’s all-round bowling effort was at the heart of their comprehensive win over Assam.
After the opening duo of Assam had accumulated 63 runs for the first wicket in just 10.5 overs, the bowlers- spearheaded by Dikshanshu Negi [3-31]- inflicted a stunning collapse, restricting them to 9-171 after 28 overs. Unmukt Chand- India’s 2012 U19 World Cup-winning captain- anchored the run-chase brilliantly.
The right-hander remained unbeaten on 80  and along with wicket-keeper Saurabh Rawat [45 off 20 balls], guided Uttarakhand to a seven-wicket win. Courtesy a seven-wicket win, Uttarakhand has moved to the second spot in the points table, sharing six points with Pudducherry and Mizoram.
Assam vs Uttarakhand [Match reduced to 28-over-per-side]
ASM: 9-171 in 28 overs (Rahul Hazarika 39, Amit Sinha 33; Dikshanshu Negi 3-31, Rahil Shah 2-20)
UTK: 3-172 in 26.4 overs (Unmukt Chand 80*, Saurabh Rawat 45*; Pritam Das 2-29)- Uttarakhand won by seven wickets
Puducherry vs Mizoram – Match abandoned without toss due to wet outfield.
Arunachal Pradesh vs Sikkim – Match abandoned without toss due to wet outfield.
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