Uttar Pradesh beats Gujarat by five wickets to reach the finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy after 16 long years. Akshdeep Nath’s power-pack half century helped Uttar Pradesh to clinch the Semi-finals & reach the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy.
UP will now face Mumbai in the final at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday. Choosing to bat first at the Ferozshah Kotla, Gujarat’s top-order put up an ordinary show with bat & found difficult to bat against some relentless UP bowling attack who were wrapped up for 184 runs in 48.1 overs with Nath taking 1 wicket for 29 runs in 6 overs apart from pacers Yash Fayal and Aaqib Khan who finished with three and two scalps respectively.
In response, UP Survived some early problems before Nath wrested control with a calculated 104 in 71 ball while in form Upendra Yadav sealed the match with an unbeaten 31 runs from 25 balls. Fresh from his match winning knock of 112 against Delhi in the Quarterfinals, Yadav came to the field after UP lost their captain Karan Sharma & Akshdeep in quick succession.
Yadav held his nerves & ensured that there is no more problems as he hit one six & three fours to seal the victory with 44 balls in spare. UP had last made to the finals in 2004-2005 when they shared the trophy with Tamil Nadu after a tie.
Hailing their well-restricted bowling effort, UP captain Karan Sharma said that they had executed their plans well to ensure an easy win. “Initially, the ball was skidding the idea was to bowl wicket to wicket and not give away any loose deliveries. We just stuck to our plan and it resulted in the success,” Sharma said.
Whereas Captain Priyank Panchal blamed it on the sloppy batting. “Batting was poor initially and we gave way two-three quick wickets. We could have taken the score to 240-mark which would have made it difficult for them,” he said.
Asked whether their decision to bat first was a mistake he said, “We were positive and confident about our batting but those initial few wickets cost us dear.” UP new ballers Dayal & Aaqib duo scalped five wickets among them & it was their discipline & control that did not allow Gujarat to break free. The only counter attack came from Het Patel who top scored for Gujarat by scoring 60 runs off 87 balls in a 66 runs partnership with veteran Piyush Chawla.
Let’s have a look on scores of both the teams: Gujarat 184; 48.1 overs (Het Patel 60, Piyush Chawla 32; Yash Dayal 3/34, Aaqib Khan 2/22) lost to Uttar Pradesh 188/5; 42.5 overs (Akshdeep Nath 71, Karan Sharma 38, Upendra Yadav 31 not out) by five wickets.