Vijay Hazare Trophy: Sai Kishore’s five-wicket haul ensures win for TN

Tamil Nadu made heavy weather of a paltry chase of 134 and just about managed to gather its wits and post a one-wicket win over Rajasthan in the Elite Group C match of the Vijay Hazare trophy on Sunday.

Electing to field, the match was a set-up for the home team by left-arm spinner R. Sai Kishore’s five-wicket haul.   -  M.Vedhan

Tamil Nadu made heavy weather of a paltry chase of 134 and just about managed to gather its wits and post a one-wicket win over Rajasthan in the Elite Group C match of the Vijay Hazare trophy on Sunday.

Electing to field, the match was a set-up for the home team by left-arm spinner R. Sai Kishore’s five-wicket haul, with the other spinner C.V. Varun chipping in with three wickets.

In reply, TN got off to a disastrous start losing three quick wickets in the half-hour that it had to play before lunch, with pacer Tanvir Mashart Ul-Haq accounting for Abhinav Mukund and Jagadeesan, while skipper B. Indrajith was dismissed run out of the first ball.

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Post lunch, things didn't get any better as TN was reduced to 49 for five with M. Kaushik Gandhi too getting run out needlessly.

It was then left to B. Anirudh to save the day as the left-hander played a sensible innings (40, 51b, 3x4) holding the fort at one end and was helped by useful contributions from M. Shahrukh Khan (20) and M. Mohammed (22 n.o.) to see the team through.

Anirudh and Shahrukh had a 40-run partnership before Rajasthan came back once again and had TN on the mats when Anirudh was dismissed with the score reading 113 for nine. However, Mohammed held his nerve, finding a few boundaries alongside T. Natarajan as the last-wicket pair meandered to the target.

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Earlier, TN struck in the first over when pacer M. Mohammed trapped Amit Gautam leg and with fellow pacer Natarajan kept a tight leash on scoring. Spin was introduced in the ninth over with leg-spinner Varun.

Varun picked two quick wickets, first Robin Bist bowled when the latter stepped down and missed the ball completely and then, Chetan Bist was trapped leg before to reduce Rajasthan to 24 for four. At the other end, R. Sai Kishore had earlier accounted for Ankit Lamba caught at slip.

Both Sai Kishore and Varun found purchase off the wicket and had the batsman confounded, with skipper Indrajith going on the aggressive with attacking fields close to the bat. From the ninth over, spin was employed at both ends till the 26th over, in which six wickets fell for 73 runs.

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Tajinder Singh, walking in at seven counterattacked as he went after the TN bowlers slamming quick boundaries. Singh hit three sixes, pulling Aparajith and Mohammed over mid-wicket before he hit Sai Kishore too over long on, and was the only batsman to cross 20 for the visitor.

Singh quickly raced to 47 off 43 balls before he slowed down and got to his fifty as he put on a 58-run partnership with Abhimanyu Lamba. He was eventually dismissed by Varun caught behind trying to cut the spinner.

Sai Kishore then got his fifth wicket dismissing Lamba before Natarajan picked the last wicket to bowl out Rajasthan in the 38th over.