Vijay Hazare Trophy: Karthik, Shankar guide TN into final

Baroda failed to make the most after opting to bat on a placid surface at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground and folded for 219 in the final over. Tamil Nadu rode on Karthik’s dominating 77 and his 88-run fourth-wicket stand with Vijay Shankar (53 not out).

Dinesh Karthik has been in tremendous form in the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

 

After left-arm spinners R. Sai Kishore and Rahil Shah kept Tamil Nadu on the right track, Dinesh Karthik produced another match-winning knock to set up a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Baroda in the first semifinal of the Vijay Hazare cricket tournament here on Thursday.

Baroda failed to make the most of batting, by choice, on a placid surface at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground and folded for 219 in the final over. Tamil Nadu rode on Karthik’s dominating 77 and his 88-run fourth-wicket stand with Vijay Shankar (53 not out).

Scorecard

In Sunday’s final, Tamil Nadu will take on the winner of Friday’s semifinal between Jharkhand and Bengal.

Once Baroda failed to put a total of around 250-260 on the board, it was always going to be difficult notwithstanding its quality of bowling resources.

It all started with opener Aditya Waghmore’s circumspect stay in the middle that failed to inspire confidence of those in the Baroda dressing room. The man, who scored three successive half centuries in the competition, struggled during his 77-ball 45.

Though Waghmore and a more aggressive Kedar Devdhar raised 92 for the first wicket before the latter departed in the 21st over, the rate of scoring did not worry Tamil Nadu. Thereafter, very briefly, Krunal Pandya stepped up the run-rate with a 34-ball 30, including a six and two boundaries. But as it turned out, Baroda was to lose two wickets at the same score, thrice during the innings.

In fact, the loss of four wickets – those of Waghmode, Deepak Hooda, Pandya and Yusuf Pathan – in the space of 15 runs truly pushed Baroda back. Shah sent back the dangerous Pandya and Yusuf Pathan off successive deliveries after Washington Sundar accounted for Waghmode and Hooda in one over.

After Irfan Pathan and Pinal Shah took turns to bolster the Baroda innings, the last four wickets fell in the space of seven runs to give Tamil Nadu a none-too-intimidating target. During this phase, it was Sai Kishore, who added three wickets to finish with four for 59.

When Tamil Nadu chased, openers Kaushik Gandhi and V. Ganga Sridhar Raju fell to Atit Sheth in his successive overs. But Karthik dictated the course of the match with some clever placements and clean hitting without going for too many big strokes. Baba Aparajith played second fiddle to Karthik during their 60-run third-wicket stand.

After Aparajith holed out to Yusuf Pathan, Karthik carried on the good work with Vijay Shankar. The two steadily took Tamil Nadu closer to the target without being in a rush to play too many strokes. Karthik, who hit four boundaries during his 107-ball knock, was again unlucky to miss a century. After 118 against Delhi, Karthik scored 81, 88 and 56 not out against Tripura, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, in that order.

Sundar returned with the bat and scored a brisk 23-ball 26 not out including two sixes and a four to hasten the end while Shankar was unbeaten on 53 off 67 deliveries.

Interestingly, the teams chasing have emerged victorious in all the knockout matches so far.