Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Aparajith, Shahrukh lead Tamil Nadu past Himachal to enter semis

TN was struggling at 66 for five in the 13th over before Shahrukh (40*) and Aparajith (52*) turned the match around in contrasting styles against Himachal on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu beat Himachal Pradesh to reach the semis.   -  TWITTER| @BCCIdomestic

B. Aparajith (52 n.o., 45b, 3x4, 2x6) and M. Shahrukh Khan (40 n.o., 19b, 5x4, 2x6) had to dig deep to bail Tamil Nadu out of a tricky position and beat Himachal Pradesh by five wickets in the quarterfinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Chasing 136 for victory, Himachal pacer Vaibhav Arora put his side on top after he cleaned up the top order with three wickets earlier on in the powerplay. 

TN was struggling at 66 for five in the 13th over when Dinesh Karthik got out before Shahrukh and Aparajith turned the match around in contrasting styles.

HIGHLIGHTS | Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Highlights: Aparajith, Shahrukh complete Tamil Nadu turnaround to enter semifinal

While Aparajith helped steady things after three quick wickets fell, Shahrukh took the opposition head-on with his powerful hits.

Ironically, it was Arora’s final over that turned the match on its head as both Aparajith and Shahrukh picked up two boundaries each with 18 coming off the 15th over.  

Aparajith made Himachal pay the price for missing an easy run out when he was on seven and dropping him in the deep when he was on 24. 

Fittingly he finished the match in style with a six over mid-wicket that also brought his half-century.

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Earlier, asked to bat first, Himachal could only muster 135 for nine thanks to an impressive bowling effort from young medium pacer R. Sonu Yadav (3/14). 

Himachal got off to a brisk start with opener Abhimanyu Rana feasting on some loose deliveries from Sandeep Warrier slamming three boundaries off the latter.

TN started to pull back slowly with spinner Aparajith and R. Sai Kishore keeps things tight. With runs not coming freely, Rana went for an ambitious second run but fell short of his crease thanks to M. Ashwin’s brilliant direct hit from the deep.

Later skipper Rishi Dhawan then chipped in with an unbeaten 35 off 26 balls to help get to a respectable total.

Brief scores: Himachal Pradesh 135/9 in 20 overs  (Dhawan 35*, Sonu Yadav 3/14, Sandeep Warrier 2/32) lost to Tamil Nadu 141/5 in 17.5 overs (Aparajith 52*, Shahrukh 40*, Arora 3/30) by five wickets

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