Vijay Hazare Trophy Final: Himachal stuns mighty TN for maiden title

With Himachal 299/4 in 47.3 overs, and needing 16 off 15 balls, bad light suspended play.

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh wins its first-ever domestic title.   -  The Hindu

Playing in only his eighth List A match, Shubham Arora announced himself on the big stage with a brilliant unbeaten 136 (131b, 13x4, 1x6) to power Himachal Pradesh to its maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy with a 11-run win over Tamil Nadu at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday.

Chasing a huge total of 315, Himachal was cruising along at 299/4 in 47.3 overs when bad light stopped play. The side emerged victorious on the 'VJD method' rule.

Playing a fearless brand of cricket, Arora did not waste time in going after the TN new ball bowlers Sandeep Warrier and R. Silambarasan and got his side off to a flyer.

He started with a couple of boundaries through point and over mid-off against Silambarasan before taking Warrier for three boundaries in the fifth over of the match.

Spinners Sai Kishore and Washington Sundar bought TN back into the game with two quick wickets. But Amit Kumar (74, 79b, 6x4) and Arora then came together for a match-winning partnership of 148 runs for the fourth wicket and took the game away from TN.

READ | Dinesh Karthik gives a sweep shot masterclass in combative 116 in Vijay Hazare Trophy final

While Kumar took the chances, finding boundaries at regular intervals, Arora nudged it around to bring up his maiden List A hundred off 95 balls.

As the light started dropping, TN was forced to bowl only spinners from the 36th over. After Kumar’s dismissal, skipper Rishi Dhawan ensured there were no further hiccups as he went after the TN spinners slamming five boundaries and a six in no time to finish unbeaten on 42 off just 23 balls.

Earlier, electing to field, Himachal seized the upper hand by reducing TN to 40/4 in the 15th over before Dinesh Karthik slammed a beautiful 116 (103b, 8x4, 7x6) to help his side recover and finish strongly.

He was helped by B. Indrajith’s 80 (71b, 8x4, 1x6) and the duo added 202 runs for the fifth wicket before M. Shahrukh Khan came with a quickfire 42 (21b, 3x4, 3x6).

Tactically TN made some interesting choices by drafting in Ashwin, who has not played a match so far in the tournament, for M. Siddharth. The team also sent the leg-spinner at number four ahead of accomplished batters like Washington - who made a match-winning 70 in the semifinals against Saurashtra - Vijay Shankar and B. Indrajith and were left to rue the fact they might have left runs on the table.

The scores: Tamil Nadu 314 in 49.4 overs (Dinesh Karthik 116, B. Indrajith 80, Shahrukh Khan 42, Pankaj Jaiswal 4/59) lost to Himachal Pradesh 299/4 in 47.3 overs (Shubham Arora 136 n.o., Amit Kumar 74, Rishi Dhawan 42 n.o.).

Result: HP won by 11 runs on VJD method.

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