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Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021: Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 4th Ton in Five Matches Goes in Vain; Kerala, MP Qualify for Knock-outs

Ruturaj Gaikwad continued his red hot form to smash his fourth hundred but Maharashtra despite their narrow win over Chandigarh couldn’t qualify for the Vijay Hazare knock-out from group D of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Tuesday.

The win however was not enough for Maharashtra, who were unlucky to be eliminated finishing third on net-run rate (+0.104) after they ended with 16 points with Kerala (+0.974) and Madhya Pradesh (+0.485).

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Kerala topped group D with a massive five-wicket win over Uttarakhand with 86 balls to spare to advance directly into the quarters where they will face Services at Jaipur on December 22.

Madhya Pradesh on the other hand finished second, ousting Maharashtra with a thrilling three-run win over Chhattisgarh to qualify for the pre-quarters where they will face Uttar Pradesh at Jaipur on December 19.

Chasing a tall 310 in a do-or-die group D clash, the Maharashtra skipper led from the front with a blistering 168 from 132 balls.

Later their No 6 Azim Kazi gave the finishing touches with a composed 79-ball 73 to win with seven balls to spare at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Ground C here.

This was the Maharashtra and Chennai Super Kings opener’s fourth century in five matches — his sensational form continuing since his record-breaking IPL 2021 run where he amassed 635 runs to bag the Orange Cap

The 24-year-old smashed 100 off 95 balls before cruising to his next 50 from 26 balls as he hammered 12 fours and six sixes before getting out in the 44th over.

With Yogesh Nahar, Gaikwad put on a 109-run opening stand but they went on to lose four wickets for 22 runs to be 131/4 in the 24th over.

Then the left-handed allrounder Kazi gave fine company to his skipper with the duo putting on 139 runs for the fifth wicket to set up the chase.

Gaikwad earlier had scored a hattrick of centuries — 136, 154*, 124 — in the ongoing VHT to conclude the season with 603 runs with an average of 150.75.

He also joined the likes of Virat Kohli, Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal to hit four centuries in one Vijay Hazare Trophy season.

Brief Scores:

Chandigarh 309/7; 50 overs (Manan Vohra 141, Arslan Khan 87, Ankit Kaushik 56; Pradeep Dadhe 4/49, Mukesh Choudhary 2/79) lost to Maharashtra 313/5; 48.5 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 168, Azim Kazi 73 not out; Yuvraj Choudhary 2/62) by five wickets.

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Uttarakhand 224/9; 50 overs (Jay Bista 93, Dikshanshu Negi 52; M D Nidheesh 3/25, Basil Thampi 2/41) lost to Kerala 225/5; 35.4 overs (Sachin Baby 83 not out; Deepesh Nainwal 2/40) by five wickets.

Madhya Pradesh 191; 45.5 overs (Shubham Sharma 56, Rajat Patidar 47; Ravi Kiran 3/36, Sumit Ruikar 3/41, Ajay Mandal 2/25) beat Chhattisgarh 188; 49.3 overs (Sanjeet Desai 47, Ajay Mandal 42; Parth Sahani 2/21, Kumar Kartikeya 2/29, Shubham Sharma 2/35, Avesh Khan 2/46) by three runs.

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