Saurashtra knocks Tamil Nadu out of Vijay Hazare in quarter-finals

Fighting half-centuries from R Sai Kishore and skipper Baba Indrajith went in vain as Tamil Nadu was knocked out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the quarter-final stage following a 44-run defeat to Saurashtra in Nadiad on Monday.

Invited to bat first at the Gokulbhai Somabhai Patel Stadium, Saurashtra posted a competitive 293 for eight on the board, thanks to fifties from opener Harvik Desai (61 off 78 balls, 7 fours, 1 six), Arpit Vasavada (51 off 49 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes) and Chirag Jani (52 not out off 31 balls, 2 fours, 4 sixes).

In the chase, Sai Kishore (74 off 92 balls, 2 fours, 3 sixes), who was promoted to No.6, and Indrajith (53 off 69 balls, 3 fours) kept Tamil Nadu in the hunt despite the team’s poor start, but the southern side was bowled out for 249 in 48 overs.

Veteran Dinesh Karthik replaced the injured Shahrukh Khan in the Tamil Nadu middle-order, but could not make an impact. Chasing 294 for a place in the semi-finals, Tamil Nadu lost four quick wickets, including that of Karthik (9), for just 51 runs in the 11th over. But, Indrajith and Sai Kishore steadied the ship with a 113-run fifth-wicket alliance and set the base for a final flourish.

However, Tamil Nadu lost its way post Indrajith’s dismissal in the 33rd over and faced an onerous task in the last 10 overs. Although a few lower-order batters came up with cameos, the southern team finished well short of the victory target. For Saurashtra, pacer Jani (3/53) was the pick of the bowlers with a three-wicket haul while left-arm spinners Parth Bhut (2/47) and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (2/48) bagged two wickets each.

In the first essay, Vasavada and Prerak Mankad (35) put on 78 runs off 69 balls for the fifth wicket while Jani and captain Jaydev Unadkat (22) made merry in the end overs with a 55-run stand off just 35 deliveries for the eighth wicket. At the top, Desai and Jay Gohil (34) accumulated 69 runs for the second wicket after Saurashtra lost one of its openers early.

Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore (2/40) and pacer M Mohammed (2/49) picked up two scalps apiece for Tamil Nadu.

BRIEF SCORES: Saurashtra 293/8 in 50 overs (H Desai 61, A Vasavada 51, C Jani 52*) bt Tamil Nadu 249 in 48 overs (R Sai Kishore 74, B Indrajith 53, C Jani 3/53)

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