Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Tamil Nadu beats Rajasthan by seven wickets to reach final

K.B. Arun Karthick slammed a brilliant unbeaten 89 (54b, 9x4, 3x6) to guide Tamil Nadu to its second consecutive final in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan at the Motera stadium.

Tamil Nadu stormed into the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final.   -  BCCI

K.B. Arun Karthick slammed a brilliant unbeaten 89 (54b, 9x4, 3x6) to guide Tamil Nadu to its second consecutive final in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.

The wicket-keeper batsman made his presence felt in chasing down a competitive target of 155. After losing C. Hari Nishanth and B. Aparajith with just 17 on the board, Arun and N. Jagadeesan steadied the ship with a 52-run stand for the third wicket.

Arun started by pulling left-arm pacer Tanveer Ul-Haq over midwicket before working the field against the Rajasthan spinners with sweeps, reverse sweeps, and using his feet to clear the straight boundaries.

 

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After Jagadeesan was dismissed for a run-a-ball 28, Arun and skipper Dinesh Karthik, brought their experience to the fore as the duo smartly kept picking runs without taking many risks.

The TN batsmen went after Rajasthan spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Chandrapal Singh. In the 14th over, Dinesh found three boundaries off Bishnoi after which TN cantered home with ease.

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Good fightback

Earlier, electing to bat on a good batting wicket, Rajasthan put TN under the pump with skipper Ashok Menaria slamming a 32-ball 51.

He was ably supported by opener Aditya Garhwal (29, 25b, 4x4, 1x6) and then Arijit Gupta (45, 35b, 2x4, 3x6), with whom Menaria shared an 83-run stand for the third wicket.

Medium-pacer Aswin Crist bore the brunt of Menaria who hit him for 18 runs with three boundaries and a six in the sixth over.

Rajasthan was cruising at 120/2 after 13 overs before TN fought back strongly thanks to Sai Kishore’s (2/16) brilliant spell with support from Sonu Yadav (1/27) and M. Mohammed (4/24).

In the quest for an ambitious target, Rajasthan batsmen threw their wickets away with just 34 coming off the last seven overs for the loss of seven wickets. This ensured TN went into the break with momentum on its side.