TN qualifies for knockouts of Vijay Hazare Trophy

Jaipur: Tamilnadu thrashed Gujarat by 78 runs in its final Group C match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Wednesday to finish with an all-win record in the 10-team group.

Tamil Nadu, which topped the group with 36 points from nine games and second-placed Gujarat (32 points), qualified for the knockout phase to be held in Bengaluru from 20 October.

Gujarat captain Parthiv Patel won the toss and put Tamil Nadu in to bat and saw the experienced Abhinav Mukund (79, 68 balls, 13 fours) and Murali Vijay (94, 106 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) rattle up 130 for the first wicket.

The opening partnership was broken by the experienced Piyush Chawla, who had Mukund stumped by Parthiv. Then Washington Sundar made 42 (65 balls, 2 fours) and added 82 runs for the second wicket with Vijay.

However, Tamil Nadu suffered a jolt, losing Vijay and the prolific skipper Dinesh Karthik (0) in quick succession. Barring a partnership of 43 runs between all-rounder Vijay Shankar (23, 28 balls, 1 six) and the in-form Baba Aparajith (25, 22 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes), the Tamil Nadu lower order fell apart to finish at 274 for 9 in 50 overs.

Chasing 280, Gujarat saw two of its best batsmsen – Parthiv Patel (6) and Priyank Panchal fall early. Bhargav Merai (44) then played aggressively for a 50-run third wicket partnership with Manprit Juneja (24). However their partnership soon came to an end and Tamilnadu bowlers brought the match in their control.

Left-hander Axar Patel resisted with a run-a-ball half-century (55, (55)) but it was not enough as Gujarat could only manage to score 196 on the board.

Brief scores: Tamilnadu 274/9 in 50 overs (Murali Vijay 94, Abhinav Mukund 79, Rush Kalaria 3/36, AR Nagwaswalla 3/56) beat Gujarat 196 all out in 42.2 overs (Axar Patel 55, Bhargav Merai 44, M Mohammed 3/20, M Ashwin 2/35).

TN: 4 points, Gujarat: 0.

NT Bureau