Rajat Patidar showed his class by negotiating quality spin bowling on a sticky pitch at the Dadoji Konddev Stadium. But the Madhya Pradesh batter’s effort wasn’t enough to keep his team’s campaign alive.
The spin duo of R. Sai Kishore (three for 25) and Varun Chakravarthy (three for 40) ensured B. Indrajith’s superb 92 (115b, 4x4, 2x6) did not go waste as Tamil Nadu clinched a 17-run win against Madhya Pradesh in a crucial Vijay Hazare Trophy league game. The win meant Tamil Nadu put a foot in the knockouts from Group E.
Indrajith’s effort meant Tamil Nadu did well on a tricky pitch to put on a total of 195 before being bowled out in the last over. The spin duo’s effort, aided with two run-outs, resulted in Tamil Nadu bowling MP out for 178 in the 48th over to clinch its fourth win in five games.
Sensing a dry surface, Tamil Nadu made two changes to its combination. While left-arm spinner M. Siddharth came in for pacer Sandeep Warrier in a tactical move, in-form batter Pradosh Ranjan Paul got his first opportunity of the tournament in place of an inconsistent M. Shahrukh Khan.
And Siddharth justified his call-up with a tight opening spell. But it was Sai Kishore, the senior left-arm spinner, that handed TN the control by picking two wickets in his third over, the ninth of the innings. When Varun accounted for opener Ajay Rohera and captain Shubham Sharma in his next two overs, at 27 for four in the 12th over, MP was staring down the barrel.
Patidar - selected for India’s ODI series in South Africa - then found an ally in Venkatesh Iyer as the duo got MP back in the game. But the 77-run association was over, thanks to a confusion while running between the wickets that resulted in Venkatesh being run out.
With Patidar going strong, the game was headed for a tight finish. B. Aparajith’s off-spin finally did the trick in the 47th over, when Patidar was caught in the deep by Paul.
Indrajith emerged as the stand-out batter on the day, holding the TN innings together after taking guard in the seventh over. His partnership of 60 with Paul (31) for the third wicket was the highest of the innings and he applied himself well despite wickets falling regularly at the other end.
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