Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019: Tamil Nadu thrash Vidarbha to seal qualification
The reigning Irani Trophy champions won the toss and opted to field first. Vidarbha’s decision seemed to be vindicated early on as they scalped Murali Vijay and Washington Sundar in the PowerPlay.
However, Baba Aparajith and Dinesh Karthik steadied the ship through the middle phases before the TN skipper brought out his vast array of outrageous shots. The wicket-keeper piled up 58 off 32 balls, an innings that was laced with 5 fours and 3 sixes.
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Karthik was supported adequately at the death by Vijay Shankar, who popped up with a crucial 26 off 17 balls whereas Murugan Ashwin applied the finishing touches with a breezy 11 off 6 deliveries.
Courtesy a middle-overs renaissance, Tamil Nadu managed to post an above-par total of 168 on the board, thereby posing a rather stiff question to Vidarbha. Yash Thakur was again the pick of the bowlers for the latter as he returned with figures of 4-0-23-3.
The Nagpur-based outfit though, unravelled spectacularly in the second essay as they folded for 55 runs in 14.5 overs. Akshay Kolhar, Jitesh Sharma and Shalabh Shrivastava were sent packing in the powerplay and there was no respite for Vidarbha after the field restrictions were lifted as TN kept chipping away, meaning that the defending Ranji Trophy champions fell like a pack of cards.
Debutant, Tushar Gill top scored for Vidarbha with 16 while only 2 other batsmen managed double figures, thereby emphasising their toothless display. For Tamil Nadu, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore and Vijay Shankar scalped 3 wickets apiece.
The victory meant that TN finished atop Group B with 20 points from 6 games whereas Vidarbha ended with 16 points. In the process, the latter spurned a golden opportunity to book its place in the Super League phase as Rajasthan temporarily catapulted themselves into 2nd spot, courtesy a superior Net Run Rate.Published 17 Nov 2019, 14:19 IST