Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy | TN scampers home in a low-scoring affair

Calm and composed: Washington Sundar took Tamil Nadu past the finish line in the final over.  

On a wicket that offered a lot of help for the spinners, the Tamil Nadu and Punjab batsmen were all at sea. Eventually, it was the former which huffed and puffed to a four-wicket win in their Super League match of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Monday.

Tamil Nadu won a crucial toss and its decision to field paid rich dividends as left-arm spinners R. Sai Kishore (3/10) and M. Siddharth (3/9) spun a web around the Punjab batsmen, picking up five wickets in the first five overs. The duo, which had held sway against Mumbai the other day, continued its good form to restrict Punjab to 94 for eight in 20 overs.

Rescue act

In reply, Tamil Nadu was made to sweat before scampering home off the third ball of the final over, losing six wickets. The Karthik-led side was reduced to 48 for four in the ninth over before Washington Sundar (45 not out, 44b, 1x4, 1x6) and Vijay Shankar (20, 33b, 1x4) stitched together a 44-run crucial fifth-wicket stand to bail the team out.

The duo played sensibly while dealing with the spinners, cutting out all risks. They hit just one boundary during their partnership, taking full advantage of the spread-out field and running hard to pick a lot of twos.

However, with just five needed in the last two overs, Tamil Nadu lost two quick wickets as Vijay Shankar and M. Mohammed perished while trying to seal the issue with big shots. Fittingly, it was left to Washington to hit the winning blow — a boundary.

Striking at will

Earlier, Sai Kishore struck in the first over of the contest, trapping left-hander Abhishek Sharma in front with a tossed up delivery that spun into the batsmen. Siddharth struck at the other end, castling Mandeep Singh with a quicker one after setting him up with a couple of flighted deliveries.

Siddharth then sent back Anmolpreet Singh with an arm ball before Sai Kishore accounted for Shubman Gill and Karan Kaila off successive deliveries. The two made full use of the conditions, bowling at the right pace and not delivering a single loose delivery. Off-spinner Aparajith chipped in with two wickets.

For Punjab, Mayank Markande’s 26-ball 33 and Gurkeerat Mann’s 25 took the side to 94, a total that proved inadequate despite Tamil Nadu almost making a mess of the chase.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 1:37:41 PM |

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