Shimla: Aazim 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. After Maharashtra suffered a top-order batting collapse while chasing a modest 202, Azim scored 84 off 82 balls to take his 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 for four.
Azim and Naushad Shaikh then stitched together 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 not out) and Shamshuzama Kazi (21 not out) then took Maharashtra home with eight balls to spare at the Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Ground.
Arpit Guleria) was the pick of the bowlers for Himachal Pradesh.
Earlier, electing to bat, Himachal Pradesh could manage only 201 for nine with Amit Kumar hitting a half century. His innings was laced with four boundaries and a maximum.
Openers Priyanshu Khanduri 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 to 201 for nine in the stipulated 50 overs.
Samad Fallah (2/29), Nikit Dhumal (2/53) and Azim (2/42) took two wickets apiece for Maharashtra.