Vijay Hazare Trophy: TN stops Jharkhand's winning streak to keep its hopes alive

Tamil Nadu kept its slim hopes of qualification with a 67-run win in its fourth match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy (Elite Group B) over Jharkhand on Friday.

Tamil Nadu batsman M. Shahrukh Khan scored his second consecutive fifty in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Friday.   -  FILE PHOTO/ SUDHAKARA JAIN

Tamil Nadu kept its slim hopes of qualification with a 67-run win in its fourth match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy (Elite Group B) over Jharkhand on Friday.

Electing to bat first, Tamil Nadu made 266 for seven with half-centuries from opener B. Aparajith (57, 105b, 6x4), M. Shahrukh Khan (51, 47b, 3x4, 3x6) and J. Kousik (55, 40b, 7x4, 2x6).

In reply, Jharkhand could manage only 199 for nine in 50 overs as left-arm spinner M. Siddharth took three wickets (3/33) while Aparajith and medium-pacer R. Silambarasan chipped in with two each.

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Earlier, TN was struggling at 131 for five when Aparajith - who held fort at one end - was dismissed before Shahrukh and Kousik added 50-runs for the sixth-wicket stand.

R. Sai Kishore (29 n.o.) and M. Mohammed (20 n.o.) then chipped in with valuable contributions towards the end with the former adding 55-runs for the seventh wicket with Kousik.

For Jharkhand, the number eleven batsman Rahul Shukla slammed an unbeaten 42 to help his side recover from 145 for 9 to reduce the margin of defeat and ensure it did not lose out heavily on the net run rate. It was Jharkhand’s first loss of the tournament and still leads the points table with three wins and a healthy net run rate of +1. 339.

In the other Group B match, Madhya Pradesh thrashed Andhra by 98 runs riding on Rajat Patidar’s 61-ball 102 (8x4, 5x6).

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Asked to bat first, MP made 316 for 8 after openers Abhishek Bhandari (49) and Shubham Sharma (78) added 105 for the first-wicket. Patidar and Sharma then added another 106-runs for the second wicket stand.

In reply, Andhra was bowled out for 218, with leg-spinner Mihir Hirwani scalping four wickets (4/50).

Only K. Nithish Kumar Reddy made a valiant 59 (67b, 5x4, 2x6) but lacked support from the other end with wickets falling regularly.

Punjab (+0.413), Tamil Nadu (-0.251), Andhra (-0.295) and Madhya Pradesh (-1.107) are all tied with eight points. If Jharkhand loses its last game against Andhra, there is a chance that at least three teams could end up with 12 points.