The first week of the Vijay Hazare trophy brought with it upsets, high scores and a string of impressive fast bowling performances from the domestic players. The 18th edition of the tournament kicked off from September 24th. A total of nine teams are featuring in Group A and B while Group C and Plate group have 10. The quarter-final line-up will see five teams from both Groups A and B, two from Group C and only one from Plate group forming the core.
Five-time champions Tamil Nadu have started strongly with three wins out of three. The Dinesh Karthik-led side look a team with the right kind of balance between power-hitting and sensible stroke play. Karthik has himself been in tremendous touch. On the other hand, Karnataka also started strongly, winning two out of two matches with Indian players KL Rahul and captain Manish Pandey assenting their good form.
Seven out of 30 Vijay Hazare Trophy matches were dented by rain in the first three days of the tournament. The unprecedented rain hampered any chance of play or a result, thereby forcing BCCI to reschedule the matches to October this year.
#1 Chattisgarh upset Mumbai
Elite, Group A, Vijay Hazare Trophy at Alur, Sep 28 2019
Chattisgarh 318/5 (49.5/50 overs)
Chattisgarh cricket had their moment when they upset defending champions Mumbai in a Group A encounter. After restricting Mumbai to a formidable 317 runs, all of Chattisgarh batsmen, except Shashank Chandrakar, contributed in a historic run-chase that went down to the wire. A match that saw three fifties, one hundred and three 40-plus scores, soon turned out to be a thrilling encounter at the end when Chattisgarh needed 20 runs off seven balls.
Centurian Amandeep Khare and bowler Ajay Mandal scored the required runs with one ball to spare. The victory brought in a new sense of belief into the Chattisgarh side which would help them a lot going into the latter stages of the tournament.
Coming from Rahul Dravid school of cricket, Amandeep had been coached by the Wall himself during his time with the under-19 Indian team in 2016. After the win, Amandeep described the win as a different kind of high which had never been experienced before.
#2 Amandeep Khare's century [117* (94) vs Mumbai]
A week back, not many knew about a young Amandeep Khare from Chattisgarh. Part of the India under-19 squad in 2016 under former India Captain Rahul Dravid, Khare has played his initial cricket in Mumbai. Therefore, a century against his former teammates Shreyas Iyer and Sarfaraz Khan meant a lot, especially as it took Chattisgarh past a formidable-looking defending champion, Mumbai.
Set a target of 318, Chattisgarh needed solid partnerships to overhaul Mumbai’s target. He struck the ball convincingly and hit the middle of the bat more often than not. Striking at a rate of over 124, Khare’s innings included eight fours and four sixes. Without a doubt, the performance of the week so far in the Vijay Hazare trophy, Amandeep will have to go through a lot of scrutiny in the upcoming fixtures but until then, Khare and Amandeep can reminiscence in the upset result against Mumbai.