Azim Kazi produced a timely half century to guide Maharashtra to a thrilling three-wicket win over Himachal Pradesh in a Group B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at Baroda on Sunday. After Maharashtra suffered a top-order batting collapse while chasing a modest 202, Azim scored 84 off 82 balls to take side past the finish line.

The top-four batsmen, including skipper Kedar Jadhav (1), departed for single digit scores, leaving the team reeling at 28/4. Azim and Naushad Shaikh (36) then stitched a 109-run partnership before the latter was trapped leg before by leg-spinner Priyanshu Khanduri. Azim, who hit 10 fours and a six in his innings, departed next.

Nikhil Naik (32*) and Shamshuzama Kazi (21*) then took Maharashtra home with eight balls to spare at the Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Ground. Arpit Guleria (2/24) was the pick of the bowlers for Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier, electing to bat, Himachal Pradesh could manage only 201/9 with Amit Kumar (62) hitting a half century to emerge the top-scorer for his side. His innings was laced with four boundaries and a six.

Openers Priyanshu Khanduri (15) and Prashant Chopra were off to a slow start. The two have added 34 runs for the first wicket in 11 overs.

Shamshuzama provided the first breakthrough for Maharashtra. He dismissed Khanduri with a brilliant caught and bowl effort. After that the Maharshtra bowlers continued taking wickets at regular intervals to restrict Himachal Pradesh. Samad Fallah (2/29), Nikit Dhumal (2/53) and Azim (2/42) took two wickets apiece for Maharashtra.

Brief Scores: Himachal Pradesh: 201/9 (Amit Kumar 62; Samad Fallah 2/29) Maharshtra: 205/7 in 48.

Massive win for Uttarakhand

Medium-pacer Sunny Rana returned with a career-best 5/26 as Uttarakhand bowlers bundled out Sikkim for just 52 to script a massive 253-run victory in their Plate Group Vijay Hazare Trophy fixture in Dehradun on Sunday.

A target of 306 proved too big for the Sikkim batsmen who tumbled like a pack of cards to fold their innings in 21.1 overs with Rana being the wrecker-in-chief and was well-supported by Mayank Mishra (2/2) and Pradeep Chamoli (2/15).

Uttarakhand (26 points) jumped to the top of the Plate Group standings with a two-point lead over Pondicherry, who however have a match in hand. Only two Sikkim batsmen – Ashish Thapa (16) and Plazor Tamang (15) – managed double digit scores as Uttarakhand bowlers went on a rampage at the Kasiga School Cricket Ground.

Earlier, opting to bat, skipper Unmukt Chand and Karn Kaushal set the foundation for Uttarakhand with a 120-run opening partnership, hitting identical scores of 54.

After a brief hiccup, Avneesh Sudha (69) and Tanmay Srivastava (53) took charge of the proceedings for a fourth wicket partnership of 117 runs.

But it was Saurabh Rawat (20) and Sunny Rana (16) who propped up the total, adding 36 runs in nine balls to take them past the 300-mark.

Brief Scores: Uttarakhand 305/9 in 50 overs (Avneesh Sudha 69, Karn Kaushal 54, Unmukt Chand 54, Tanmay Srivastava 53; Padam Limboo 2/50, Plazor Tamang 2/63, Ishwar Chaudhary 2/67). Sikkim 52 all out in 21.1 overs (Sunny Rana 5/26, Mayank Mishra 2/2, Pradeep Chamoli 2/15). Uttarakhand won by 253 runs. Points: Uttarakhand 4, Sikkim 0.

Arunachal Pradesh 112 in 40.1 overs (Riyan Parag 4/27, Pritam Das 3/23). Assam 116/0 in 14.3 overs (Pallavkumar Das 76*, Swarupam Purkayastha 36*). Assam won by 10 wickets. Points: Assam 4, Arunachal Pradesh 0.

Manipur 170 all out in 49.3 overs (Sultan Karim 47, Johnson Singh 42; Parvez Ahmed 4/30, Arbar Kazi 3/18). Mizoram 161/8 in 50 overs (Taruwar Kohli 64 not out, Arbar Kazi 48; Thokchom Kishan Singh 2/17, Lamabam Singh 2/23, Bishworjit Konthoujam 2/35). Manipur won by nine runs. Points: Manipur 4, Mizoram 0.