Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Washington propels Tamil Nadu

Washington’s 25-ball innings that included four boundaries and a six, and Baba Indrajith’s efficient 47-ball 46 enabled Tamil Nadu defeat Bihar by six wickets at the C.B. Patel Stadium on Sunday.

Washington Sundar plays a shot during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament against Bihar in Surat on Sunday.   -  Vijay Soneji

The sound of the bat striking the ball indicates a batsman’s quality. Even a savage blow can have that ring of sweetness.

When Washington Sundar smashed impressive Bihar paceman Vivek Kumar over covers — his bat whirling down from a high back-lift and getting under the good length ball — for a rousing six, the music from the willow vibrated through the air.

Seizing the moment

The lanky left-hander’s unbeaten 38 of iridescent strokeplay providing thrust to the Tamil Nadu innings when the side needed it.

Eventually, Washington’s 25-ball innings that included four boundaries and a six, and Baba Indrajith’s efficient 47-ball 46 enabled Tamil Nadu defeat Bihar by six wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament at the C.B. Patel Stadium here on Sunday.

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Chasing 132, Tamil Nadu was struggling at 68 for three in 11 overs when skipper R. Ashwin (4) was castled by left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman. The side will need to lift its performance in the coming matches.

The experienced M. Vijay, though, will return for the remaining games after Shahrukh Khan, who suffered an injury near his right thumb against Rajasthan, was ruled out of the tournament.

Indrajith and Washington bailed the team out with contrasting methods on this occasion. The duo shut out the rather probing Bihar attack in which Vivek Kumar bowled with some pace and carry and Ashutosh, quicker through the air, spun the odd one.

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The clever Indrajith worked the ball into the gaps and ran hard. Washington drove handsomely, swept and whipped.

Earlier, debutant opener N.S. Chaturved progressed to 25 but could not kick on.

Not enough

In the morning, M.D. Rahmatullah struck some hefty blows — there were three sixes in his 18-ball 32 — and Keshav Kumar was unbeaten on a hectic 21, but Bihar’s sluggish start and a rash of wickets towards the end meant the side ended up with only 131 after electing to bat.

R. Ashwin mixed it up and M. Mohammad swung the ball to scalp three each. Seamer Abhishek Tanwar and Washington, with his off-spin, were restrictive.

Then, Washington had the final say.

THE SCORES

Bihar 131 for nine in 20 overs (M.D. Rahmutullah 32, M. Mohammad 3-21, R. Ashwin 3-31) lost to Tamil Nadu 132-4 in 18.5 overs (N.S. Chaturved 25, B. Indrajith 46, Washington Sundar 38 not out).

Tamil Nadu 4 points, Bihar 0.