Dinesh Karthik gives a sweep shot masterclass in combative 116 in Vijay Hazare Trophy final

The India and Tamil Nadu star used the sweep shot to good effect to turn the contest around after the loss of early wickets. It went in vain, however.

FILE PHOTO: Tamil Nadu's Dinesh Karthik gave a sweep shot masterclass in a combative 116 against Himachal Pradesh in Vijay Hazare Trophy final on Sunday.   -  PTI

Dinesh Karthik’s unique mannerisms while at the crease batting suggest a kind of restlessness to be perfectly prepared to greet his deliveries. On Sunday, in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, it seemed he was also restless to collar Himachal Pradesh’s bowling attack.

Karthik’s 116 (103b, 8x4, 7x6) was instrumental in lifting Tamil Nadu to 314 after it was reduced to 40 for 4 in the 15th over. From the 21st over, he signalled a shift in momentum as he started entertaining with his stylish strokes.

He took his chances as he swept and slogged his way to his 12th century in List-A cricket, and thanks to solid support from B. Indrajith, his understudy for much of their partnership of 202, a scarcely believable recovery was achieved.

Coming in to bat at the fall of the third wicket in the 12th over, Karthik was nearly strangled down the leg side by Rishi Dhawan when he hadn’t even opened his account. He was beaten on the outside edge, too, by Pankaj Jaswal soon after. But by the 21st over, he had had enough and showed his intent to unsettle the opposition with some belligerence.

READ: Vijay Hazare Trophy Highlights, Tamil Nadu vs Himachal Pradesh Final: HP beats TN by 11 runs (VJD Method) to win first title

He stepped down the pitch to Vinay Galetia and flat batted a short-of-a-length delivery for six, before slog-sweeping a full delivery for another six, this time to deep square leg. As the spinners started to bowl, he settled into a routine of picking his deliveries to sweep. Of his 12 fours and sixes hit between overs 23 and 43, nine were off sweeps and slog-sweeps, including an audacious reverse-sweep for six in the 42nd over.

He took a liking to left-arm spinner Akash Vashisht, hitting 33 runs off 24 deliveries off him, including four boundaries and a six, nearly all through the leg side.

To be sure, it wasn’t a flawless innings.

His attacking spirit got the better of him soon after he brought up his half-century in the 32nd over. He slashed hard at a short, wide delivery from Jaswal, and edged it; Shubham Arora, the wicketkeeper, couldn’t hold on.

Later, when on 96, he attempted a lap-sweep off Mayank Dagar, the left-arm spinner, but the fielder at short third-man failed to hold on to a simple chance.

It didn’t matter, though, as Himachal motored along from the get go to win comfortably. The initial onslaught with the new ball was missing. That the contest went beyond 5pm local time, however, was in main due to Karthik’s superb effort.

Tamil Nadu captain Vijay Shankar praised Karthik for raising his game during tournament finals. 

“It’s Karthik’s fourth or fifth hundred in finals, so he keeps doing that for Tamil Nadu and I’m sure someone has to take the responsibility in the coming years and start getting the hundreds and taking the team through,” he told broadcasters after the defeat. 

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