Vadodra, Jan 9: Baroda batsman made heavy weather of a modest run-chase to scrape past Andhra by three wickets in their penultimate Group C Twenty20 league match and enter the knockouts of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here today.
Baroda, alongwith with table-toppers Delhi, have remained unbeaten in their five league games to secure their respective quarter-finals spots.
Chasing a paltry 92 for a win at the Motibaug Cricket Stadium, the hosts were reduced to 52 for six, before skipper Irfan Pathan (28 not out) hung on with Swapnil K Singh (13) and then Soaeb Tai (3 not out) to help achieve the target in 16.5 overs.
After pace spearhead Ayyappa Banadru gave the visitors the opening breakthrough, spinners Bodavarapu Sudhakar and Sirla Himasrinivas shared five wickets between themselves to make life difficult for the Baroda batsmen, who faltered against a disciplined attack but finally prevailed.
Earlier justifying the team's decision to field first, Baroda bowlers, Rishi Arothe, Hardik Pandya and Bhargav Bhatt, bagged two wickets apiece to restrict Andhra to 91 for nine in 20 overs.
Captain Srikar Bharat top-scored with 30 runs, while Bandaru contributed with a gutsy 24 only to see the rest of the batting fall apart.
Brief Scores: Andhra 91/9 in 20 overs (Srikar Bharat 30, Bandary Ayyappa 24; Bhargav Bhatt 2-5) Baroda 93/7 in 16.5 overs (Irfan Pathan 28 not out, Kedar Devdhar 13; Bodavarapu Sudhakar 3-15, Sirla Himasrinivas 2-18) Points: Baroda 4, Andhra Pradesh 0.