Indrani Roy’s scintillating 86 and all-round bowling performance led by seamer Ashwani helped Jharkhand beat Karnataka by 20 runs at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Monday (March 29).
Opting to bat first after skipper Niharika won the toss, Roy and Rashmi put on 149-run partnership for the opening wicket from 27.5 overs to put Jharkhand in a commanding position. In-form Roy was the more aggressive of the two as she brought up her fifty from 53 balls, while Rashmi played a solid second fiddle scoring her fifty from 69 balls.
Rashmi scored 76 before being dismissed by Akanksha Kohli and Roy was looking good for her third century of the season, but was unfortunately run out on 86. Niharika scored a 42-ball 37 to take Jharkhand past 250 as they finished 254 for 6 from their 50 overs.
For Karnataka, Kohli was the most successful bowler taking two wickets for 52 runs while Prathyusha C and Chandu V took one wicket each.
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Chasing 255 to win, Karnataka got off to bad start when they lost K Prathyoosha for a duck to Ashwani in the second over. Ashwani struck again to remove skipper Rakshitha Krishnappa in the eighth over to leave Karnataka reeling at 22 for 2. From there, Shubha Satish and Divya Gnanananda put on 107 runs for the third wicket and were looking like they will help Karnataka overhaul the target. But they lost both the batters in the space of four runs with Niharika striking remove the dangerous Satish.
From there, Karnataka kept losing wickets at regular intervals to find themselves at 208 for 8 in 42.1 overs even as Veda Krishnamurthy played a handy knock of 41 from 32 balls. All hopes seemed to end for the Karnataka side when Krishnamurthy was castled by Devyani as she became the seventh wicket to fall. But a 26-run knock from Monica Patel kept them in the chase for a bit leaving them needing 22 runs from the last 28 balls. But Ashwani came back to dismiss Patel and the last batter Sahana Pawar to give Jharkhand a memorable 20-runs win.
For Jharkhand, Ashwani finished with figures of 4 for 26 while Niharika picked up three wickets.
In the second quarter-final in Rajkot, Railways opted to bat and put up 274 for 7 in the 50 overs on the back of fifties from MD Thirushkamini, Mithali Raj and Sneh Rana before the bowlers restricted Odisha to 206 for 9 to win the match by 68 runs to make it yet another semi-final of the competition.
From 77 for 3, Thirushkamini and Raj put on 59-run partnership first to take Railways’ innings to safety before Thirushkamini was dismissed for 70 by Anjali Singh. That brought Raj and Rana together and the duo added 86 runs in quick time to take their score to 234 in the 45th over. Rana was the aggressive of the two during ther knock of 57 off 45. Even though Raj was dismissed in the final over by Rameshwari Naik, a 15 off 4 cameo from Dayalan Hemalatha took Railways to their eventual score of 274 for 7.
In reply, Odisha lost openers Sarita Meher and Madhuri Meheta early with only 12 runs on the board. Singh and Pragyan Mohanty took them to 77 with a 65-run partnership. But Hemalatha accounted for both the batters in the 25th over to leave Odisha at 82 for 4.
Although Singh, Mohanty, Sushree Dibyadarshini and captain Madhusmita Behera made 30 plus scores, none of them went on to get a big one that was needed to take them home in the big chase. Behera’s 40 was the highest score of the Odisha innings as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Odisha’s innings eventually finished at 206 for 9 from the 50 overs as they fell way short of the target. For Railways, Hemalatha was the most successful bowler with four wickets to her name while Arundathi had three wickets including the important wickets of Meheta and Behera.
Jharkhand 254/6 in 50 overs (Indrani Roy 86, Rashmi 76; Akanksha Kohli 2/52) beat Karnataka 234/10 in 46 overs (Shubha Satish 68, Divya Gnanananda 48; Ashwani 4/26, Niharika 3/40) by 20 runs.
Railways 274/7 in 50 overs (MD Thirushkamini 70, Mithali Raj 68; Rameswari Naik 2/50) beat Odisha 206/9 in 50 overs (Madhusmita Behera 40, Sushree Dibyadarshini 39; Dayalan Hemalatha 4/62, Arundathi Reddy 3/28) by 68 runs