Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], December 1 (ANI): Another fantastic century from Ruturaj Gaikwad and a four-fer from all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar helped Maharashtra seal their first-ever final berth in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy after defeating Assam by 12 runs in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Maharashtra will be meeting Saurashtra in the final. The latter previously won the title in 2007-08 season.
Assam was given the task of chasing a massive 351 in the high-pressure match. Swarupam Purkayastha (95), Sibsankar Roy (78) and Rishav Das (53) contributed some solid half-centuries, but the other batters fell just short of providing them with the support they needed.
Consequently, Assam finished at 338/8 in 50 overs, losing the semifinal by 12 runs. Hangargekar (4/65) was the pick of the bowlers for Maharashtra. Manoj Ingale took two scalps while Satyajeet Bachhav and Shamshuzama Kazi took a wicket each.
Put to bat first by Assam, Maharashtra posted 350/7 in their 50 overs. Skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his amazing run in the tournament and domestic cricket knockouts, scoring 168 in 126 balls with 18 fours and six sixes. Ankit Bawne also scored a remarkable century, scoring 110 off just 89 balls.
Mukhtar Hussain (3/42) was the pick of the bowlers for Assam. Rajjakuddin Ahmed, Riyan Parag and Avinov Choudhury took a wicket each.
In the other semifinal match, a fiery spell by veteran Jaydev Unadkat (4/26) and a fifty from Jay Gohil (61) helped Saurashtra clinch a five-wicket win over four-time champions Karnataka, giving them their first chance at the trophy since 2017-18, when they had finished runners-up.
Saurashtra was given a task to chase 172 in the final. After the openers Harvik Desai and Sheldon Jackson were dismissed for ducks, Jay Gohil and Samarth Vyas (33) and Prerak Mankad (35) brought back Saurashtra into the game. Saurashtra chased down the target in 36.2 overs, with five wickets in hand.
Earlier, put to bat first by Saurashtra, Karnataka was bundled out for 171. Ravikumar Samarth (88) was the lone warrior for his side, with other batters failing to put up big scores. Unadkat (4/26) troubled the batters with his pace. Prerak Mankad picked up two scalps and Kushang Patel, Parth Bhut took a wicket each. (ANI)