AGARTALA: Tamil Nadu exacted a sweet revenge for its last year’s defeat at the hands of Mumbai with a comfortable 56-run win and moved into the semifinals against Uttar Pradesh in the all-India Vijay Merchant Trophy one-day knockout tournament at the TIT ground here on Wednesday.
The other semifinal will be contested between last year’s runner-up Bengal and Baroda. Bengal defeated Delhi with five balls to spare, thanks to a match-winning unbeaten 96 by Manoj Tiwary, in a contest reduced to 47 overs each side at the MBB Stadium.
Tamil Nadu, put in, rattled up 252 for nine in 50 overs. In reply, Mumbai was restricted to 196 in 45.5 overs.
S. Anirudha and K.B. Arun Karthik produced a rollicking 75-run stand to give a superb start to TN’s innings after left-handed Abhinav Mukund left early. Thereafter, TN did not look back with the top order contributing useful scores. Anirudha (67, 88b, 6x4, 1x6), Arun Karthik (38, 46b, 5x4), S. Vidyut (33, 52b, 2x4) and R. Ashwin (46, 37b, 1x4, 1x6) were the principal scorers.
There were useful partnerships as well which enabled TN to push the score to 252. The best part of Mumbai bowling was when the two spinners, Iqbal Abdullah and Vikrant Yellegati, were operating. Backed by keen fielding, the two managed to shackle the TN batting but late order hitting by Ashwin and U. Sushil helped South Zone win.
Mumbai’s reply was strong as it tried to make full use of the power play. Skipper Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane took on the pacers and played some pleasing shots in front of the wicket. When V. Yomahesh had Jaffer edging to the wicketkeeper for 27, Mumbai sent in pinch-hitter Abhishek Nayar who hammered 36 off 16 balls with eight fours.
Mumbai slumped from 84 for one to 87 for four losing the cream of its top order. Prashant Naik and Aditya Tare did try to repair the damage in the face of some inspired spin bowling by Ashwin, Suresh Kumar and Vidyut. When Mumbai suffered the second run out in which it lost Naik, TN took control of the proceedings.
Tamil Nadu 252 for nine in 50 overs (S. Anirudha 67, K.B. Arun Karthik 38, S. Vidyut 33, R. Ashwin 46; I. Abdullah three for 43) bt Mumbai 196 in 45.5 overs (W. Jaffer 27, A. Nayar 36, A. Tare 25, A. Raut 33; S. Vidyut three for 32).
Delhi 209 for eight in 47 overs (A. Chopra 29, M. Sharma 43, P. Bisht 36 n.o.) lost to Bengal 210 for eight in 46.1 overs (W. Saha 30, M. Tiwary 96 n.o.; C. Nanda 3 for 44). — Special Correspondent