After Rajasthan and Haryana had booked their quarter-finals berths for the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Sunday, Mumbai, Vidarbha, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also gained direct entry into the quarter-finals on the last day of the league stage. Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal will play the pre-quarter-finals for the last two quarter-final spots. Here is how the action unfolded on the last league day.
Samson's century in vain but Kerala in pre-quarter-finals; Mumbai in QFs
Mumbai and Kerala were both on 20 points before Tuesday and had the chance to gain direct quarter-final entry with a win but they both lost their games on Tuesday: Mumbai by 86 runs to Odisha (after losing to Tripura on Sunday), and Kerala by 18 runs to Railways. Since both teams finished on 20 points, Mumbai were ranked above Kerala because of their head to head in the league stage.
Mumbai's poor run continued because they failed to chase down 200 as they were bundled for just 113 in 32.3 overs. Only five of their batters reached double-figures, captain Ajinkya Rahane fell for 7, Shivam Dube for 8 and No. 11 Royston Dias top-scored with an unbeaten 24.
Kerala lost to Railways despite a quick century from their captain Sanju Samson. Chasing 256, Samson hardly got any support from his team-mates as Kerala slipped to 59 for 4 before Shreyas Gopal (53) joined his captain for a century stand. But once Shreyas fell in the 45th over, Kerala needed another 59 from 34 balls and Samson was their only hope. He took them to the last over but couldn't take them all the way.
Gujarat pip Uttar Pradesh for knockout qualification
The very last game of the league stage went down to the last over and eventually crushed Uttar Pradesh's hopes of making the knockouts because Gujarat beat Himachal Pradesh with an eight-run win to finish second and leave UP behind.
Rajasthan had already qualified from Group D; the fight for the second place was now between UP (who were on 16 points before Tuesday), Gujarat (14) and Himachal (12). Gujarat started on a solid note against Himachal on Tuesday by putting up 327 with a century from Urvil Patel (his second in three games apart from an 86 in between) and 96 from Priyank Panchal. Their opening stand of 211 in 32.5 overs had laid a great platform for probably a bigger score, but Arpit Guleria's 8 for 50 kept them to 327. Guleria's was only the third eight-wicket haul by an Indian in 50-over games.
Himachal got a steady start led by opener Prashant Chopra's 96 before No. 6 Sumeet Verma blasted 82 off 47 balls to take them past 250 before the 40th over. Gujarat also struck back with late wickets, and it was down to 11 required off the last over, in which Hemang Patel conceded just two and finished the game with a final-ball wicket.
Ankit Bawne's century takes Maharashtra through to pre-quarters
As many as six of the eight teams in Group B were in knockout contention till Tuesday and while Maharashtra made it eventually with a win of 167 runs over Manipur, Vidarbha got a direct quarter-final entry despite a slim loss of 15 runs to Services.
Maharashtra's fourth win in a row was scripted by a big century from Ankit Bawne (167 off 105) and half-centuries from Om Bhosale (60), Kaushal Tambe (51) and Rushabh Rathod (65) that helped them put on a massive 427 for 6. Manipur tried putting up a fight but they could manage only 260 for 6.
Vidarbha, Maharashtra and Services all finished on 20 points, but Vidarbha and Maharashtra were ranked 1 and 2 in the group on account of better NRR. Hyderabad, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were also in contention but lost out by finishing on 16 points.
Koushik, Gowtham power Karnataka into quarter-finals
After Haryana had already made it to the quarters from Group C, Karnataka followed too on Tuesday, with a six-wicket win over Mizoram. Vasuki Koushik led Karnataka's bowling attack to finish with 4 for 7 and K Gowtham took 3 for 49 to bowl out Mizoram for just 124. Captain Mayank Agarwal scored 48 in the chase and even though they lost four wickets, they raced to the target in 17.1 overs.
Varun Chakravarthy, Sai Kishore spin Tamil Nadu into quarters
The four-way race in Group E between Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab ended with Tamil Nadu reaching the quarters and Bengal making it to the pre-quarters.
Tamil Nadu's bowlers ensured the match against Nagaland lasted just 165 deliveries after Varun Chakravarthy took 5-3-9-5 and R Sai Kishore 3 for 21 to bowl out Nagaland for 69 in under 20 overs. In reply, openers Sai Kishore and N Jagadeesan hunted it down in just 7.5 overs for a 10-wicket win.
Bengal eliminated Punjab from the race and confirmed their own pre-quarter berth with a 52-run victory. Even though Bengal scored a modest 242 for 9, led by Anustup Majumdar's unbeaten 111, they defended it comfortably in the end thanks to three-wicket hauls from Shahbaz Ahmed and Kaushik Maity, and two wickets apiece from Pradipta Pramanik and Mohammad Kaif.