Vijay rocks on return, third win for TN
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu cruised to their third win on the trot in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, thumping Bihar by seven wickets on Saturday.
The victory saw Dinesh Karthik’s side move to the top of the Group C table with 12 points. Though they still have six more matches to go before the league stage ends, it is to be noted that after the end of this phase, the top two teams from this pool will be promoted to Groups A and B. They will also reach the quarterfinals.
The clash at Jaipuria Vidyalaya Ground in Jaipur saw Vijay Shankar in action. The all-rounder had been ruled out the recent India A series against South Africa due to a thumb injury. Even his participation in the Tamil Nadu Premier League was curtailed, as he played in only the last three matches for champions Chepauk Super Gillies after recovering from a wound suffered on the toe.
Replacing left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore in the XI, Vijay was the architect of this win, notching up an unbeaten 88-ball 91 and stitching together an unbroken 143-run stand for the fourth wicket with Baba Aparajith (52 n.o). The India player also chipped in with the ball, providing Tamil Nadu an early inroad with the wicket of opener Shasheem Rathour in the first over of the match. Vijay ended with tidy figures of 1/17 from his six.
It was Tamil Nadu’s speedsters who made inroads after Bihar elected to bat. Vijay’s blow was followed up with another by K Vignesh six balls later, when he had Vikash Ranjan edging to Karthik.
Skipper Babul Kumar was the one who steadied Bihar’s ship after the double strike. Apart from being a half of two 80-plus partnerships (for the third and fourth wickets), the 26-year-old right-hander went on to post his third List A ton. Kumar’s 110 came off 136 deliveries, and was sprinkled with a dozen fours and a six.
Bihar’s middle-order was muzzled by Tamil Nadu’s disciplined bowling. None of them conceded over a run a ball in their quotas, with Vignesh being the sole man with an economy rate that went above 5. Bihar’s middle-order could only plod along, as they eventually ended with 217/7 in their 50 overs.
Tamil Nadu’s opening pair of N Jagadeesan and Abhinav Mukund got off to a steady start. The two cut down 59 runs before the southpaw was trapped in front by leg-spinner Samar Quadri for 37. Jagadeesan’s and newcomer C Hari Nishaanth’s exits by the 23rd over saw Aparajith and Vijay come together.
And the two saw off Bihar’s bowling, taking Tamil Nadu over the finish line with 19 balls to spare.
Brief scores: Bihar 217/7 in 50 ovs (Babul 110; Mohammed 3/33) lost to Tamil Nadu 218/3 in 46.5 ovs (Vijay 91 n.o, Aparajith 52 n.o).
Chhattisgarh stun Mumbai
In a Group A match in Alur near Bengaluru, Chhattisgarh stunned Mumbai by five wickets. Chasing 318, the underdogs needed 30 from two overs and got them. Amamdeep Khare hit an unbeaten 117 and shared 96 in 9.3 overs in a sixth-wicket stand with Ajay Mandal.