Vijay Hazare Trophy: Vishnu Vinod hits third ton of the tournament to end Kerala campaign on a high
Vishnu Vinod struck his third century of the tournament to help Kerala bow out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a six-wicket win against Andhra at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Vishnu scored 139 from 89 balls (13x4, 9x6) to power Kerala's chase as they reached the target of 231 in 39.4 overs. Kerala won four of their eight games and were placed eighth in the combined Groups A-B table with a few other teams yet to play their last match. Only a top-five finish could have seen then progressing to the quarterfinals.
Vishnu, the 25-year-old opener from Thiruvalla, who had struck two centuries earlier in the tournament against Karnataka (104) and Chhattisgarh (123), moved to second in the run-scoring chart (508 from eight games) with his third List-A ton. It was an innings characterized by his proven six-hitting prowess as he took his tournament tally for the maximums to a whopping 29, comfortably the most. In fact, Vishnu set the record for the most sixes by a batsman in a Vijay Hazare game last week when he hit 11 against Chhattisgarh.
Batting first, Andhra struggled to get going against the Kerala spinners, especially Midhun S, the leg-spinner who was playing his first game of the tournament. Midhun finished with excellent figures of 10-3-15-2, backed up by Jalaj Saxena (1/35). Kerala lost captain Robin Uthappa (1), Sanju Samson (0) and Sachin Baby (19) within the first 15 overs but a fourth-wicket stand of 110 runs between Vishnu and Saxena (46 not out) got them back on track for what turned out to be an easy win.
Brief scores: Andhra 230/6 in 50 overs (Ricky Bhui 58, Karan Shinde 38, Bodapati Sumant 31 no, Ashwin Hebbar 31, Naren Reddy 30; Midun S 2/15, Basil Thampi 2/53) lost to Kerala 233/4 in 39.4 overs (Vishnu Vinod 139, Jalaj Saxena 46 no; Girinath Reddy 3/27) by 6 wickets.