Vijay Hazare Trophy: TN beats Gujarat, finishes unbeaten in league stage

On the back of a good start provided by the openers, Tamil Nadu posted 274 batting first before its bowlers restricted Gujarat to 196.

Abhinav Mukund made a 68-ball 79 to get Tamil Nadu off to strong start.   -  PTI

Sometimes you play so well, even the law of averages is helpless.

This Tamil Nadu side is going through such a phase. It scored its ninth successive win to finish its campaign with a cent percent record in Elite Group C of the Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament; its latest victim was Gujarat.

Parthiv Patel’s men had also come into this match winning all their eight matches, but were soundly beaten, by 78 runs, in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd at the Gujarati Vidyalaya Ground on Wednesday.

The spectators were so much in awe of the Tamil Nadu players that some of them wanted not just to take selfies, but to touch the feet -- as a mark of respect – of some the senior players. They did not allow that, though.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

But they kindly posed for the photographs. On the field, however, they were ruthless yet again.

They made 274 for nine after being put in. Given the great start provided by openers Abhinav Mukund (79, 68b, 13x4) and M. Vijay (94, 106b, 8x4, 2x6), it had looked Tamil Nadu would be posting a score in excess of 300.

The first wicket stand was worth 130 in as many balls when Abhinav, fresh from his career-best 147 in the last match against Madhya Pradesh, was smartly stumped by Parthiv off Piyush Chawla. Vijay, who played some delectable drives, was now joined by Washington Sundar (42, 65b).

The duo added 82 for the second wicket, but the Tamil Nadu innings floundered after that. From 212 for one, it slumped to 225 for four within a space of four overs.

One of those wickets was that of Karthik –  run out going for a sharp run that probably wasn’t there -- much to the disappointment of his fans, who had been chanting “DK” all day in and were expecting for fireworks from him once more.
Tamil Nadu may have scored less than what it wanted to, but for its bowlers that was more than enough. They came up with another clinical performance.

Seamer M. Mohammed was the most successful bowler, taking three for 20 from his five overs. He ensured that Tamil Nadu did not miss its leading wicket-taker in the competition, K. Vignesh.

The Gujarat chase had begun on the wrong foot with Parthiv getting out off the eighth ball of the innings. His decision to deposit left-arm spinner R. Sai Kishore somewhere in the stands beyond the long-on boundary didn’t prove a wise one, Washington coming up with a fine catch.

Bhargav Merai (44, 52b) and Axar Patel (55, 55b) batted well, but not well enough to pose a serious threat.

Both the teams now head to Bengaluru, for the quarterfinals, starting on October 20.

The scores: Tamil Nadu 274/9 in 50 overs (Abhinav Mukund 79, M. Vijay 94, Washington Sundar 42, Roosh Kalaria 3/36, Arzan Nagwaswalla 3/56) bt Gujarat 196 in 42.2 overs (Bhargav Merai 44, Axar Patel 55, M. Mohammed three for 20).