Vijay Shankar's century powers Tamil Nadu to victory

Vijay Shankar's 129 off 99 balls helped Tamil Nadu set a mammoth target of 335 for Assam and register a 130 run victory over the North East team.

Vijay Shankar in action against Assam in the Vijay Hazaare trophy match at IIT Chemplast, Chennai.   -  K. Pichumani

Skipper Vijay Shankar led from the front with a 99-ball 129 to help Tamil Nadu thrash Assam by 130 runs in the Elite Group C match in the Vijay Hazare trophy match here on Thursday.

The all-rounder, who returned after missing the last two matches due to a cut to his right thumb webbing, and B. Indrajith (92, 72b, 5x4, 3x6) built on a solid foundation set up by openers Abhinav Mukund and N Jagadeesan (82-run partnership) to put 334 in the 50 overs.

Indrajith, who scored an impressive ton against Jharkhand in a losing cause, once again played an impressive knock and was unlucky to miss out on his second ton in this tournament by eight runs at the stroke on the 49th over.

Electing to bat, Abhinav and Jagadeesan ensured a solid start with Abhinav in particular looking fluent in his strokeplay finding boundaries with cuts and some deft touches off his pads, getting to his fifty off 55 balls.

Assam then struck twice in quick succession removing the openers, before Indrajith and Vijay Shankar came together. The duo added 202 for the third wicket off just 149 balls. The pair started slowly running hard between the wickets and brought up the fifty-run partnership off 63 balls before upping the pace.

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Indrajith started with two beautiful late cuts to the third man boundary off the spinners to get going and kept busy from the beginning even as Vijay Shankar took time to find his groove to rotate the strike.

Vijay Shankar was given a reprieve on 16 when he was dropped by Arup Das on the midwicket boundary and made the visitors pay dearly.

Both the batsmen got to their fifties at just about run a ball - Indrajith off 49 balls while it took Vijay Shankar 55 balls.

However, post that, both batsmen cut loose and went after the Assam bowlers as they cleared the boundary on numerous occasions with ease.

In the 46th over Vijay Shankar took pacer Abu Nechim to the cleaners racing from 80 to 100 of just four balls - a six over mid-wicket, a six over long on, a double and a six over long off getting him to the landmark.

In reply, Assam never showed any great intention of going for the target and never looked like it was in the game. After losing opener Aziz in the first over, Gokul Sharma and Riyan Parag had a 86-run for the second wicket before Aparajith dismissed the duo with the score reading 95.

By then Assam, had more than 200 to chase off just 23 overs and a 59-run stand between Wasiqur Rahman and Sibsankar Roy for the fourth wicket could only delay the inevitable with the visitors getting bowled out for 204.

 

Brief scores:

Tamil Nadu 334 for four in 50 overs (N. Jagadeesan 37, Abhinav Mukund 71,B. Indrajith 92, Vijay Shankar 129) bt Assam 204 in 44.1 overs (Riyan Parag 45, Gokul Sharma 42, Wasiqur Rahman 43). Points: Tamil Nadu  4; Assam o

Haryana  304 in 49.2 overs (Chaitanya Bishnoi 43, Pramod Chandila 88, Himanshu Rana 44, Tanveer Ul-haq three for 62) bt Team Rajasthan 157 in 46.4 overs (Abhimanyu Lamba  46 n.o., Harshal Patel three for 19). Points: Haryana  4; Team Rajasthan 0

Jharkhand  221 for eight in 50 overs (Virat Singh 33, Anukul Roy 96 n.o., Waseem Raza three for 51) bt J & K  148 in 42.2 overs (Mohammed Mudhasir 53 n.o., Shahbaz Nadeem five for 17). Points:  Jharkhand  4;  J & K: 0