Mushtaq Ali Trophy: TN make quick work of Haryana

Choosing to bat, Haryana was done in by some smart bowling from medium-pacer W. Anthony Das and off-spinner M. Ashwin, but it was skipper Satish who set the tone for a commanding performance by dismissing Sehwag.

W. Anthony Das took four wickets to bowl out Haryana for 113.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

Virender Sehwag drew in a few hundred spectators at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Civil Lines on Saturday afternoon. Alas, he couldn’t do any better than tally three runs in five balls, fall into the leg-side trap masterminded by R S.atish and produce a direct hit from mid-on to send Abhinav Mukund back.

The remainder of the match belonged to Tamil Nadu, and they emerged winner by nine wickets in a Group ‘A’ fixture of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Choosing to bat, Haryana was done in by some smart bowling from medium-pacer W. Anthony Das (3.1-0-10-4) and off-spinner M. Ashwin (4-0-28-3), but it was skipper Satish who set the tone for a commanding performance by dismissing Sehwag. The right-armer packed the on side with fielders, cramped the great batsman for room and induced a false stroke to have him caught in the cow corner. Nitin Saini (50; 44b, 3x4, 1x6) batted well, but Haryana managed no more than 113 in 19.1 overs.

Tamil Nadu lost Mukund in the second over but the chalk-and-cheese combination of S. Anirudha (54 n.o.; 47b, 8x4) and B. Aparajith (49 n.o.; 42, 5x4) knocked off the runs in 16 overs to complete a facile win.

>Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Points: Haryana 0, Tamil Nadu 4

Saha, Shami star for Bengal

Wriddhiman Saha may have cemented his place in the Test team, but he has always found it tough to prove his worth in the shorter forms of the game.

In the first match of the day in the heart of the city, Saha silenced his critics in style with an authoritative 81 (47b, 7x4, 5x6) as Bengal thrashed Hyderabad by 61 runs.

Saha was a connoisseur’s delight, executing textbook strokes with ease on either side. He milked the pacers and spinners alike to dominate the 138-run opening stand with left-hander Sayan Mandal (50, 41b, 4x4, 1x6) as Bengal posted 185 for four on a batting beauty. So fluent was Saha that he managed to hit four of five sixes in the ‘V’. He then displayed his nous with the ’keeping gloves, too, with a couple of acrobatic saves, a catch and a direct hit from close range.

Hyderabad was never in the game. In fact, its line-up tallied 14 runs fewer than Bengal’s openers! Hyderabad lost Tanmay opener Agarwal and skipper Hanuma Vihari in an eventful second over bowled by fit-again India star Mohammed Shami.

The pacer, who will return to his happy hunting ground in Australia next week, started off with an off-side wide before having Agarwal caught behind. Vihari then launched a counter-attack by driving one through the covers, ‘ramping’ the next for a six over third man and cutting the following delivery for four. Comically enough, he mistimed the next ball, only to be caught at mid-off.

>Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Points: Bengal 4, Hyderabad 0

Chopra carries the bat

Prashant Chopra (89 not out, 62b, 7x4, 2x6) carried the bat as Himachal Pradesh held its nerve to post a five-wicket win over Gujarat at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha on Saturday. The venue hosted its first senior-level fixture since the controversial third Test between India and South Africa in November-end. There was nothing ‘poor’ about the pitch on this occasion.

>Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Points: Gujarat 0, Himachal Pradesh 4