Himachal Pradesh won by a margin of 41 runs © Getty Images
Himachal Pradesh won by a margin of 41 runs © Getty Images

Rajkot: Riding on a strong batting show, Himachal Pradesh secured a place in the knockout stage of the Vijay Hazare Trophy as they won their last Group D match against Madhya Pradesh by 41 runs at the Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground, Rajkot. Rishi Dhawan struck an unbeaten 117 while Robin Bisht scored 84 as Himachal Pradesh put on board 295 for five after being invited to bat. Dhawan hit 13 boundaries in his 88-ball fiery knock. HP bowled out Madhya Pradesh for 254 and finished on top of the table with four wins from five matches.

The other team to qualify for the knockout stage was Uttar Pradesh, who finished second in Group. UP also had four wins to show but Himachal’s NRR was better. Medium paceman Pankaj Jaiswal wreaked havoc with his six-wicket haul as he ripped apart the top and middle order of Madhya Pradesh. Venkatesh Iyer (57) and Parth Sahani (42) showed stomach for fight but their efforts proved little.

Jaiswal’s spell completely crushed the opposition’s spirit in their chase of 296. He tore through the middle order and then came back to ensure that the lower order did not have much to say. Had it not been for his effort, Madhya Pradesh could have been looking at a very different result.

Brief Scores:

Himachal Pradesh 295 for 5 in 50 overs (Robin Bist 84, Rishi Dhawan 117; Chandrakant Sakure 1 for 37) beat Madhya Pradesh 254 in 46.1 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 57, Parth Sahani 42; Pankaj Jaiswal 6 for 33) by 41 runs.