Vijay Hazare Trophy: Vijay Shankar guides Tamil Nadu home

Back with a bang: Vijay Shankar, returning to the Tamil Nadu squad after injury, played a key role in the side’s win over Bihar.

Back with a bang: Vijay Shankar, returning to the Tamil Nadu squad after injury, played a key role in the side’s win over Bihar.  


Aparajith lends able support; Bihar skipper Babul’s ton goes in vain

Vijay Shankar, coming back from yet another injury and playing his first game of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, produced an all-round performance with an unbeaten 91 (88b, 6x4, 1x6) and one for 17 to help Tamil Nadu post its third win in as many matches, defeating Bihar by seven wickets in the Elite Group C match on Saturday.

Electing to bat, Bihar made 217 for seven led by skipper Babul Kumar who made a valiant 110 (136b, 12x4, 1x6) after Bihar was reduced to three for two in the second over.

Cautious start

Chasing the target, TN openers Abhinav Mukund and N. Jagadeesan made a cautious start before the former took charge. The left-hander played some glorious shots off his pads with flicks and drives through square-leg and mid-on.

However, Bihar pulled things back with three leg-before dismissals in quick succession. Leg-spinner Samar Quadri first trapped Abhinav before left-arm spinner Sachin Kumar Singh did the same to Jagadeesan and C. Hari Nishanth as TN slumped from 59 for no loss to 75 for three in the space of five overs.

Vijay Shankar then took control and played some delightful shots. He started with a backfoot punch and followed it up with a cover-drive of off-spinner Shasheem Rathour. He also hit a lofted drive for six over the same region off pacer Kamlesh later in his innings.

Deft placements

He was well supported by B. Aparajith (52 n.o., 66b, 1x4) at the other end, who relied more on deft placements than forceful shots.

The duo added 143 for the unbroken fourth-wicket partnership with only 34 of those runs coming in boundaries as they chipped away at the target without any risks and took their side home from a spot of bother.

Earlier, Vijay Shankar opened the bowling and struck in his first over getting Shasheem Rathour before K. Vignesh removed the other opener Vikash Ranjan in the very next over, both caught behind.

However, TN let the initiative slip with some ordinary bowling and not making use of the favourable conditions.

Vignesh gets the stick

Babul went after Vignesh, who after two good overs started to pitch it shorter than required. In one over, the Bihar captain went after the TN pacer scoring 14 runs with two superb pull shots, a six and four over mid-wicket and another boundary through covers.

At the other end, Rahmat Ullah too kept finding the boundaries with ease. His knock of 38 had seven hits to the fence. The duo added 89 for the third wicket.

TN, however, pulled things back in the second half of the innings, with spinners M. Ashwin, B. Aparajith and M. Mohammed cutting the flow of boundaries.

A flurry of wickets towards the end did not help Bihar’s cause and it could not get the final push for a competitive total.

The scores: Bihar 217 for seven in 50 overs (Babul Kumar 110, Rahmat Ullah 38, Keshav Kumar 35, Mohammed three for 33) lost to Tamil Nadu 218 for three in 46.5 overs (Vijay Shankar 91 n.o, B. Aparajith 52 n.o., Abhinav Mukund 37).

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 7:08:58 AM |

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