Vijay Hazare Trophy: TN knocks out Ranji champion Gujarat to enter semis

After bundling out Gujarat for 211, Tamil Nadu chased down the target in the 43rd over to to set up a semifinal clash with Baroda in Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day crickte tournament.

Ganga Sridhar Raju’s foundation work with 12 fours in a brisk 85-run knock of 95 balls helped Tamil Nadu post win over Gujarat   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

 

Fluent knocks by Ganga Sridhar Raju and M. Mohammed helped Tamil Nadu ease past Gujarat by five wickets in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare one-day cricket tournament at the Palam ground on Sunday.

Scorecard

On a windy day that had a wet start owing to rain the previous three days, Tamil Nadu capitalised on the conditions after Gujarat had won the toss and opted to bat. Superb catching and sharp bowling saw Tamil Nadu restrict the reigning Ranji Trophy champion to 211, bundling the team out in the 50th over.

Except for a wet patch that delayed the start by 15 minutes, the ground had been maintained very well and thus encouraged good cricket. While Gujarat was handicapped by the absence of skipper Parthiv Patel and speedster Jasprit Bumrah, Tamil Nadu stuck to its task very well, taking the skiers in windy conditions with aplomb.

Only Rujul Bhatt, who remained unbeaten on 83, striking five 4s and two sixes along the way, and opener Samit Gohil (39) could provide substance to the Gujarat innings, even as every Tamil Nadu bowler got amongst the wickets except for the two openers Aswin Crist and M. Mohammed.

Skipper Vijay Shankar was the pick of the lot, claiming three wickets that applied brakes to the Gujarat innings. Rahil Shah had made the initial inroads into the Gujarat innings with two wickets and Sai Kishore chipped in with two.

With Ganga Raju toying with the bowling with his splendid drives, things looked to be in total control for Tamil Nadu, till Gujarat struck three blows with sharp catches, dismissing Ganga Raju, Dinesh Karthik and B. Indrajith in the space of five runs.

Yet, at 172 for five, Tamil Nadu needed 40 runs from more than 16 overs. There was some tension, but M. Mohammed hammered two sixes and three fours to bring the curtains down on Gujarat’s challenge in the tournament. He was in the able company of skipper Vijay Shankar, who remained unbeaten on 11 off 27 balls.

It was, of course, Ganga Raju’s foundation work with 12 fours in a brisk 85-run knock of 95 balls that made Tamil Nadu enjoy the warmth of the afternoon and look ahead.