Bengaluru: Tamil Nadu survived a mighty scare as they edged past Uttar Pradesh by one wicket to enter the semifinal of the Vijay Hazare Trophy One Day tournament at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. Opting to bat, Uttar Pradesh relied heavily on Rinku Singh’s 60 as they struggled to 168 in 48.2 overs as Lakshmipathi Balaji (3-32) and Co. struck hard and fast.
In reply, Tamil Nadu reached the target in 41.3 overs. They lost openers Dinesh Karthik and Abhinav Mukund early on and B. Aparajith soon followed after being caught at square-leg by a diving Sarfaraz Khan off Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (3/25). The Indian seamer removed Balaji (0) soon after to put the batting side under pressure at 17/4.
M. Vijay (33) and B. Indrajith (48, 6x4) then took the game by the scruff of the neck as the duo added 64 for the fifth wicket. Vijay danced at the crease to find the gaps even as Indrajith took the more direct approach before the former was trapped leg-before by Saurabh Kumar’s low delivery. Vijay Shankar then added 37 runs for the sixth wicket before both headed back to the pavilion.
Needing 42 to win, R Sathish (34, 34b, 6x4) then shouldered the chase with a man-of-the-match show and found the rope at mid-off, mid-wicket and backward point off Saurabh and went over the circle off Chawla. Just when it looked like a cake walk for the batting side, Chawla struck twice in four balls to make it 166/9 and force an exciting finish but it was too little too late.
Gujarat edge Vidarbha:
Elsewhere, Gujarat skipper Parthiv Patel struck an exemplary fifty, while Axar Patel chipped in with an unbeaten 36 after picking up two crucial scalps to edge out Vidarbha by two wickets and advance to the semi-finals. Chasing 196 for a win at the KSCA Cricket (3) Ground, Gujarat rode on opener Parthiv’s strokeful 57 to achieve the target in 48.1 overs.
Gujarat though did see wickets tumble as left-arm medium Ravikumar Thakur and off-spinner Akshay Wakhare bagged three wickets each, but Axar made sure that he stays firm with Harshal Patel (15 not out) to ensure victory. Earlier electing to bat, Vidarbha started off well with fifties from opener Faiz Fazal (52) and Jitesh Sharma (51), but soon their innings ran into rough weather.
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