Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Tamil Nadu makes it two in a row

On a windy Sunday at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Civil Lines, Tamil Nadu hammered Bengal by 69 runs to occupy top spot in Group A

Abhinav Mukund scored 41 from 37 balls, smashing three fours and one six in the process.   -  K. Murali Kumar

They say yellow is the colour of hope and happiness, agility and athleticism. No wonder that is why there’s something about teams in yellow that makes you sit up and take notice. Brazil, Australia, Lakers, Chennai Super Kings.

This Tamil Nadu team isn’t in that class but what it lacks in superstar power, it makes up for in intensity. On a windy Sunday at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Civil Lines, it gave Bengal a 69-run hammering to notch up its second consecutive win to occupy the top spot in Group ‘A’ of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

If Abhinav Mukund (41, 37b, 3x4, 1x6) shepherded the team through a top-order collapse engineered by seamer Alok Pratap Singh (4-0-15-3), then Dinesh Karthik (21, 13b, 3x4) and W. Anthony Dhas (28 not out, 18b, 2x4, 2x6) provided the innings with fillip at the death.

A total of 151 for eight turned out to be enough on a pitch where batting wasn’t easy. Bengal made life difficult for itself with an utterly childish display, devoid of desire or nous, to fold up for 82 in 15.5 overs.

Seamers R. Satish and J. Kousik used the conditions well to reduce Bengal to nine for two before spin twins M. Ashwin (3-0-9-2) and Rahil Shah (2.5-0-12-5) ran through the line-up to seal the deal.

Shreevats Goswami (31, 30b, 2x4, 1x6) and the technically-adept Sudip Chatterjee (18, 17b, 2x4) were the only ones to reach double figures as Bengal imploded — it lost eight wickets for the addition of just 24 runs — and rendered useless the momentum garnered during Friday’s victory over Hyderabad.

Skipper Manoj Tiwary sat out with a calf injury and his absence was felt as Ashok Dinda (4-0-32-0) had a forgettable day as captain and bowler.

So brilliant was Tamil Nadu that it accounted for a whopping 45 dot balls with sharp catching and acrobatic fielding. That Bengal managed to score just six fours and a six spoke volumes of Tamil Nadu’s discipline.

Parthiv, seamers have a field day

Skipper Parthiv Patel (59, 38b, 6x4, 1x6) led from the front as Gujarat defeated Vidarbha by 60 runs in Jamtha.

Hyderabad off the mark

Ashish Reddy (37, 29b, 2x6) and CV Milind (4-0-34-3) starred as Hyderabad defeated Himachal Pradesh by 14 runs in Jamtha.

>Bengal v Tamil Nadu (Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details)

>Gujarat v Vidarbha (Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details) >

>Himachal Pradesh v Hyderabad (Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details)