Cricket

Vijay Hazare Trophy | It is six-in-a-row for Tamil Nadu

Bending his back: T. Natarajan kept the Tripura batsmen on a tight leash.

Bending his back: T. Natarajan kept the Tripura batsmen on a tight leash.  

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Abhinav, Aparajith help team set up a huge total which proves beyond Tripura’s reach

Tamil Nadu’s coach D. Vasu had a pleasant surprise on Sunday. He was congratulated at the K.L. Saini ground on his team’s splendid performance against Tripura by John Wright, the former New Zealand captain, who was also a popular and successful Indian coach.

For Vasu and his boys, their royal run continues in the City of Palaces. The 187-run win is their sixth in as many matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy tournament.

And it was a perfect game for Tamil Nadu. It won the toss, the batsmen made full use of a nice strip and then the job was completed with clinical precision by the bowlers, backed up by spirited fielders.

The only disappointment, as Vasu admitted later, was that neither of the well-set batsmen could complete a hundred. Opener Abhinav Mukund (84, 87b, 11x4) and B. Aparajith (87, 97b, 2x4, 4x6) both played beautifully and set the innings up nicely for skipper Dinesh Karthik.

Karthik scored 40 off just 23 balls and it put the game way beyond the reach of Tripura.

All-rounder Washington Sundar, who was promoted up the order to make it a left-right combination, also made useful runs before falling to what should one of the catches of the season by N.N. Sen Chowdhary, who ran a few yards from the long-on boundary and lunged forward.

M. Vijay, the century-maker from the last match, missed out though. He fell lbw to seamer M.B. Murasingh in the seventh over of the morning.

Aparajith, who had made an unbeaten 86 a couple of days ago against Jammu & Kashmir, walked in. He carried on from where he left off, showing plenty of aggression, while his partner Abhinav was his usual, organised self.

Southpaw Abhinav was looking good for a hundred, until he cut medium-pacer Neelambuj Vats uppishly to Sen Chowdhary at point. He had added 128 for the second wicket with Aparajith.

Chasing 316 was always going to be an uphill task for Tripura. Four of its batsmen got into their 20s and that was the best the team could manage against a relentless attack.

Seamers T. Natarajan, Vijay Shankar and K. Vignesh, as well as the spinners M. Ashwin and R. Sai Kishore, all had something to show in the wickets column.

Little wonder their coach Vasu was beaming when the match was over. “I am happy to win six games in a row,” he said. “But the aim is to win all the nine.”

The scores: Tamil Nadu 315 for five in 50 overs (Abhinav Mukund 84, B. Aparajith 87, Washington Sundar 36, Dinesh Karthik 40, Ajoy Sarkar three for 51) bt Tripura 128 in 34.3 overs (T. Natarajan three for 22).

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 7:51:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/vijay-hazare-trophy-it-is-six-in-a-row-for-tamil-nadu/article29612122.ece

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