Left-arm pacer Cheepurapalli Stephen (3/46) and medium pacer Girinath Reddy (2/33) helped set up an easy seven-wicket win for Andhra over Tamil Nadu in the Elite Group B Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Holkar International Stadium here on Monday.
Electing to field, Andhra bundled out TN for just 176 before Ashwin Hebbar slammed a brilliant unbeaten 101 (84b, 11×4, 5×6) to help his side chase down the target in just 29.1 overs.
On helpful conditions, Stephen and Girinath reduced TN to just 82 for 5 by the 21st over and helped restrict last year’s runner-up to a modest score.
For TN, B. Aparajith (40) and R. Sonu Yadav (37) were the only bright spots with the bat as the duo added 56-runs for the sixth-wicket stand.
Later Andhra off-spinner Shoaib Mohammed Khan (3/24) joined the party removing Aparajith and Sonu which ended any hope of TN to score a competitive total.
In its chase, opener Hebbar led from the start and was later supported by wicketkeeper Ricky Bhui who slammed an unbeaten 52 (41b, 6×4, 2×6) with the duo adding an unbroken 114-run stand for the fourth-wicket.
TN coach D. Vasu said, “It was an important toss but our batsmen could have applied themselves a bit better because the first hour and half is always going to be tough.”
“It is a competitive group and we might not have a runway leader. So we just have to learn from this and focus on winning the next three games,” he added.