A fluent century by B. Aparajith (123, 128b, 8x4, 2x6) and a fine spell by left-arm spinner Rahil Shah (five for 40) helped Tamil Nadu defeat Delhi by 88 runs and retain the All India Coromandel King Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup here on Thursday.

The three-day final was reduced to a 50-overs-a-side after just seven overs of play was possible on the first two days.

Put in, Tamil Nadu scored a commanding 294 for four in 50 overs, thanks to the knock by India under-19 batsman Aparajith. It was a treat to watch as he essayed strokes on either side of the wicket. The two huge sixes — into the stands — over mid-off off left-arm spinner Varun Sood were special. This was Aparajith’s second century of the tournament.

Big partnership

Together with S. Aniruda (78, 102b, 4x4, 2x6), Aparajith put on 153 runs off 180 balls for the second wicket after Tamil Nadu captain K.B. Arun Karthick (1) fell cheaply to fast bowler Parwinder Awana in the third over of the innings.

On an evenly-paced pitch and chasing a big target, Delhi lost momentum as it kept losing wickets at regular intervals. It was disappointing to see most of the top-order batsmen throwing away their wickets after looking good.

For Tamil Nadu, left-arm spinner Rahil Shah (9.1-0-40-5) was the pick of the bowlers as he struck every time Delhi’s hopes of coming back into the game brightened.

The winner got Rs. 1 lakh and the runner-up Rs. 50,000.

The scores (final): Tamil Nadu 294 for four in 50 overs (S. Anirudha 78, B. Aparajith 123, S. Suresh Kumar 31) bt Delhi 206 in 45.1 overs (Mohit Sharma 32, Jagrit Anand 33, Milind Kumar 40, Punit Bisht 44, Rahil Shah five for 40).

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