Andhra got back to winning ways after defeating Madhya Pradesh by seven wickets in the seventh match of the Chhattisgarh Men's T20 Invitation Cup. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Blue achieved a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Chhattisgarh Red in the eighth match.
Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur hosted both these encounters.
After losing the toss, Madhya Pradesh was tasked to bat first. They started off on a disappointing note, losing their opener Anand Bais for a duck. However, Venkatesh Iyer and Yash Dubey built the momentum with a 59-run second-wicket partnership.
After their dismissals, MP never looked in the game, losing wickets at regular intervals. Only one other batter crossed the 20-run mark to take the side to below par total of 130/7 in 20 overs. Pacer Harishankar Reddy bagged three wickets to shun the scoring rate. His colleague Pinninti Tapaswi's two wickets were crucial in the middle overs for Andhra.
In response, Kulwant Khejroliya got the first breakthrough sending back Ashwin Hebbar for a golden duck. However, Hemanth Reddy (44 off 26) and Shaik Rasheed forged a 71-run second-wicket partnership to keep their side on top.
In the later stages of the game, captain Ricky Bhui smacked 29 runs to continue the momentum. Rasheed stayed unbeaten on 49 runs off 41 balls to seal the deal in 16.3 overs. With this win, Andhra reclaimed the top position on the points table.
Shifting our focus to the eighth contest, after winning the toss, Chhattisgarh Blue elected to field first. Red opener Shashank Chandrakar continued his good form, scoring 58 runs from 46 balls, featuring four fours and three sixes. However, other top-order and middle-order batters faltered badly, losing wickets at regular intervals.
Mayank Yadav played a decent cameo, scoring 24* runs off just 11 balls. Eventually, Chhattisgarh Red got bundled out for 136 runs in 19.5 overs. Pacer Prashant Sai Painkra and leg-spinner Shubham Agarwal scalped two wickets apiece for Blue in the first innings.
In reply, Blue lost their opener Rishabh Tiwari for just two runs. However, captain Amandeep Khare stood tall, scoring an unbeaten half-century. He received good support from Harpreet Singh, who scored 27 off 20 balls, and Sanjeet Desai, who went on to amass 34* from 27 balls.
Eventually, Chhattisgarh Blue successfully chased down the target in 18 overs. Ashish Chouhan was the standout bowler for Chhattisgarh Red with two wickets, in vain.
Let’s take a look at the top run-scorers and wicket-takers of Chhattisgarh Men's T20 Invitation Cup 2023.
Chhattisgarh Men's T20 Invitation Cup 2023 Most Runs List
Chhattisgarh Red opener Shashank Chandraker jumped to the pole position after his half-century over Chhattisgarh Blue. He has so far scored 173 runs from four innings. Andhra's no.3 batter Shaik Rasheed secured the second rank with 150 runs from three innings at an average of 75 and a strike rate of 141.51.
Anuj Tiwary, the Chhattisgarh Red batter, occupied the third rank, amassing 132 runs from three matches. Ashwin Hebbar, after scoring a century in the initial game, failed to create an impact in the remaining matches, accumulating 122 runs from four innings, and claiming the fourth spot.
Andhra skipper Ricky Bhui secured the fifth position, racking up 107 runs from four innings at an average of 35.67.
Chhattisgarh Men's T20 Invitation Cup 2023 Most Wickets List
Kerala left-arm spinner Midhun PK maintained his top spot on the bowling charts with six scalps from three innings. Andhra off-spinner Tripurana Vijay is occupying the second rank, racking up five scalps.
Andhra medium pacer Harishankar Reddy jumped to the third spot after scalping three wickets over Madhya Pradesh. He has currently claimed a total of five scalps from two matches.
Jharkhand off-break bowler Vikas Kumar is at the fourth position, bagging five wickets with Kerala offie Vinoop Manoharan taking over the fifth rank with four wickets.