N. Jagadeesan hit 133 (130b, 17x4) and leg-spinner C.V. Varun picked up five for 38 as Tamil Nadu beat Services by 83 runs in the elite, group-C match of the Vijay Hazare trophy at the IIT-Chemplast ground, here, on Friday.
Put in, Tamil Nadu seemed to bat with ease. Jagadeesan, who'd been promoted to open, added 173 runs for the first wicket with Abhinav Mukund (69, 89b, 4x4, 1x6).
Mukund was particularly cautious when he scored strictly singles to move from 22 to 52. He ended his singles-only phase with a six over long-on off left-arm spinner Arjun Sharma.
Then, right-arm pacer Varun Choudhary worked up a trifling threat - he took two wickets in two overs in his second spell when he had Mukund and Vijay Shankar caught by Rajat Paliwal at mid-on and Amit Pachhara at covers. Jagadeesan, though, engaged in a 65-run third wicket stand with B. Indrajith (76 n.o., 58b, 3x4, 3x6).
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Jagadeesan, who looked a clean stroke-maker - there was no different, but standard strokes, except for the deft touch to the third man boundary - was disappointingly run out. He, sent back by Indrajith, was beaten by Abhishek Tiwari's throw to the non-striker's end. He seemed about to get to his imperious best. For, he had just remarkably hit back-to-back fours off Arjun Sharma - a lofted straight drive, an inside out to the deep cover boundary.
For Indrajith, a flick off Abhishek for a six over the deep square leg and a pull off Varun for a six between deep midwicket and cow corner stood out.
Later, C.V. Varun seemed mysterious and unplayable for the Services batsmen. Rahul Singh's dismissal was visually striking - the length was teasing enough to draw the batsman forward and the turn away was surprising enough to beat him as the wicketkeeper took off the bails.
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Tamil Nadu 315 for four in 50 overs (N. Jagadeesan 133, Abhinav Mukund 69, B. Indrajith 76 n.o., Varun Choudhary three for 63) bt Services 232 in 46 overs (Nakul Verma 60, Rajat Paliwal 52, Arjun Sharma 46, C.V. Varun five for 38, B. Aparajith three for 29).