Abhinav hits ton as TN make it 8 wins in a row
CHENNAI: The highlight of Tamil Nadu's imposing run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season has been the contribution of multiple players at different stages of the tournament. That trend continued on Saturday as TN thrashed Madhya Pradesh by 211 runs to make it eight wins out of eight in the competition.
While Abhinav Mukund led the show with an innings of 147 from 139 balls, Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik continued their rich vein of form with scores of 90 and 65 not out respectively. Karthik was devastating in the death overs, taking just 28 balls for his effort in an innings that was laced with eight fours and three sixes. Once TN racked up a score of 360 for 4, the contest was as good as over. The second half of the match was a mere formality in the end as MP folded up for 149.
With the ball too, there were multiple contributions for TN. Leggie M Ashwin scalped 3/14 from four overs while Abhishek Tanwar, R Sai Kishore and B Aparajith took two wickets apiece. The win elevated TN - who had already sealed a quarterfinal berth - to 32 points from eight games in Group C with one game against Gujarat left.
Having been sent in to bat, TN lost the in-form duo of M Vijay and B Aparajith early on, but it was Abhinav's turn to carry the mantle. The left-handed opener had scored a couple of half-centuries earlier in the tournament, but needed to produce a big innings to get his season underway. He duly stepped up in the company of Vijay Shankar. The two of them joined hands with TN on 56/2 and stitched together a match-defining partnership of 189 for the third wicket.
Both Abhinav and Shankar took their time to begin with but shifted gears quickly once they got their eye in. Madhya Pradesh, who used as many as eight bowlers, just couldn't find a way to contain the TN batsmen through the middle overs, conceding close to 200 runs from overs 15-40. While Shankar fell 10 runs short of a century, Abhinav notched up his 13th List A hundred before eventually falling for 147 - his highest score in the 50-over format. The onslaught continued with the arrival of skipper Karthik, who is making a strong statement with his run of scores in the Vijay Hazare Trophy post his omission from the Indian limited-overs set-up.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 360/4 in 50 overs (A Mukund 147, Vijay Shankar 90, D Karthik 65 not out). Madhya Pradesh 149 in 28.4 overs (M Ashwin 3/14). TN won by 211 runs.