Panchal century takes Gujarat to Hazare semi-finals

New Delhi, Mar 08 (PTI): Skipper Priyank Panchal’s stroke-filled 134 and an equally impressive show from the bowlers set up Gujarat’s massive 117-run win over Andhra in the quarter-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Monday.
Gujarat rode on Panchal’s 134 to post a competitive 299 for 7 and then bundled out the opposition for 182, to make it to the semi-final. India Test star and Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari was out for a five-ball duck. Opting to bat at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Gujarat lost Dhruv Raval (18) early, after he was dismissed by medium pacer KV Sasikanth (2/55). However, skipper Panchal took on the Andhra attack and found an able partner in one-drop batsman Rahul Shah (36 off 59 balls;3×4) as the two rallied the Gujarat innings with their 80-run second-wicket stand.
But just when it looked like the duo would take the game away, Andhra slow-left arm spinner A Lalith Mohan (2/55) broke the partnership by trapping Shah leg before. Het Patel (28) was unable to convert his start as Gujarat slipped to 166/3. Despite losing partners at the other end, Panchal continued to play his shots.

He hammered 10 boundaries and two maximums in his 131-ball knock even as Ripal Patel (35) and Chirag Gandhi (15) played second fiddle to him, but also failed to convert their starts.
Andhra kept making inroads at regular intervals with medium-pacer M Harishankar Reddy (3/60) being the pick of the bowlers. It was largely due to Panchal’s hitting, that Gujarat crossed the 280-run mark.
Chasing 300, Andhra was struggling at 21/3, as Gujarat’s left-arm pacer Arzan Nagwaswalla (4/28) wreaked havoc, removing CR Gnaneshwar (6), Ashwin Hebbar (10) and rival skipper Vihari cheaply.
It became 36 for 4 as left-arm spinner Hardik Patel (1/27) removed Nitish Kumar Reddy (5) and then Karan Shinde (9) also fell early as Andhra lost its half side for 58.
Ricky Bhui (67 off 76 balls; 3×4; 4×6) and Naren Reddy (28) added 61 runs for the sixth wicket and tried to bring Andhra back into the game, but Nagwaswalla got his fourth and sent Reddy back as Andhra was teetering at 119/6.
Bhui’s knock only delayed the inevitable and Andhra were eventually bundled out for 182.
Seasoned campaigner Piyush Chawla (3/33) played a vital role in the win.

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