Vijay Hazare Trophy: Sathish puts TN in the semifinals

A run chase of 169 had threatened to end in failure on more than one occasion, but Rajagopal Sathish kept his head to see his side home at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Sathish, also returned miserly figures of one for 14 from his 10 overs.

Rajagopal Sathish kept his head to see his side home.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Tamil Nadu survived some tense moments to snatch a thrilling one-wicket win over Uttar Pradesh and progress to the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Thursday. A run chase of 169 had threatened to end in failure on more than one occasion, but Rajagopal Sathish kept his head to see his side home at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

There was no cause for alarm at 162 for seven after 40 overs but Piyush Chawla struck twice in the space of three balls, dismissing R. Ashwin with a googly and then Aswin Crist with a big leg-break.

With two runs to win, the last man Rahil Shah pulled Chawla away for a single and Sathish, who eventually remained unbeaten on 34 (38b, 6x4), finished things off with a boundary through mid-wicket. It capped off a fine all-round performance from Sathish, who also returned miserly figures of one for 14 from his 10 overs. Tamil Nadu will now meet Gujarat in the semifinals, at the Alur grounds on Saturday.

Inderjit-Vijay partnership revived TN

Earlier, Tamil Nadu had been reduced to 17 for four as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Praveen Kumar made merry with the new ball. L. Balaji, curiously, was sent out to bat at five—a move that did not work. It took a pair of level-headed knocks from Baba Indrajith (48) and Murali Vijay (33) to put the innings back on course. Vijay's exit was unfortunate, trapped as he was in front by a ball that struck him just above the ankle—a genuine grubber.

Indrajith's dismissal, however, was avoidable. The 21-year-old pushed Bhuvneshwar Kumar towards mid-off and set off for a single. He had to run around the bowler, and was caught out by a direct hit from Md. Javed. Vijay Shankar, who had made a good 22, reached forward in defense to a Chawla leg-break and edged behind. Ashwin will have been irked that neither of the two completed the job, but he will now heave a sigh of relief.

Impressive bowling by TN

In the morning, the wheels rapidly came off the Uttar Pradesh innings after it won the toss and elected to bat first. Balaji, playing only his third game for Tamil Nadu this season, snared Shubham Chaubey in the first over with an away-swinger. Praveen Kumar, oddly opening the batting, made seven runs before handing a tame return catch to Vijay Shankar.

Ashwin shuffled his bowlers around as if they were on some sort of merry-go-round -- five of them were used in the first nine overs. Not that anyone was complaining. The captain brought himself on after 12 overs and when he removed Umang Sharma with his fourth ball, Uttar Pradesh had sunk to 41 for five. Rinku Singh and Chawla then brought some calm, adding 66 runs for the seventh wicket. Rinku was eventually dismissed for 60 (97b, 5x4), stumped stepping out to Ashwin. Tamil Nadu's bowling was impressive, with the 10 wides conceded the only blot on an otherwise neat copybook.

In the other match at the Alur grounds, Gujarat claimed a similarly narrow two-wicket victory over Vidarbha.

Results:-

>Tamil Nadu beat Uttar Pradesh by 1 wicket

>Gujarat beat Vidarbha by 2 wickets