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Tamil Nadu lift Vijay Hazare Trophy

Bengal bowled out for 180; Karthik slams ton

Tamil Nadu claimed the Vijay Hazare Trophy for the fifth time with a 37-run win over Bengal at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. TN who had last won the premier domestic one-day tournament in 2009-10, had shared the title with Uttar Pradesh in 2004-05.

Powered by Dinesh Karthik’s determined century, TN set the opposition a 218-run target even as the Ashoke Dinda-led attack put-up a disciplined performance to keep the line-up in check. The TN bowling attack complemented by good fielding then bowled Bengal out for 180 to clinch victory.

After Vijay Shankar elected to bat, Dinda claimed three of the top five TN batsmen in his longish first spell while Mohammed Shami, who was in the team for Syan Gosh accounted for Baba Aparajith to leave the side on 49 for four in the 11th over.

Ganga Sridhar Raju was the first to be sent back, done in by the bounce while Dinda knocked by Kaushik Gandhi’s off-stump as the ball took the inside edge and hit the woodwork. Karthik who walked in at 26 for two, then got off the mark with a boundary. The highest run-scorer of the tournament showed intent as he held the fort even as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

With TN on 36, Baba Aparajith was adjudged lbw off Shami. 13 runs later, Dinda forced an edge from Vijay Shankar through to the wicketkeeper to send the opposition on the backfoot. However, Karthik continued to fight back and played some crisp shots as he found the gaps to keep the scoreboard ticking. He was complemented by Baba Indrajith in rebuilding the wobbly innings. The pair put together 85 runs for the fifth wicket until Indrajith was run out.

Karthik the looked to stitch a stand with young MS Washington Sundar as he shaped the TN innings patiently. However, looking for a non-existent single, Sundar, sent back by the senior partner too was run out at the non-striker’s end.

Karthik soon reached his century with a reverse-sweep as he carried the innings forward with Aswin Crist. However, he soon lost another partner as Aswin edged Kanisk Sheth to the ‘keeper leaving the side on 200 for seven. 12 runs later Shami dealt a double blow by claiming M Mohammed and R Sai Kishore. With the last batsman for company the middle-order bat strove to add useful runs however, was out hit wicket with 25 balls left in the innings. Looking for a big hit, the batsman dislodged the bails in the follow through and the remarkable innings came to an unfortunate end for 112 runs.

With a modest total on the board, Shreevats Goswami and AR Eswaran opened the innings for Bengal. However, with just four runs on the board, Eswaran was run out while Aswin knocked back Agviv Pan's off-stump. That brought to the crease skipper, Manoj Tiwary. With the opener he added 33 runs until Goswami struck Rahil Shah towards the midwicket region and Vijay Shankar took a superb catch to leave Bengal on 37 for three.

With the early strikes the match was hanging in the balance as there was little choose between both sides at the stage. Sudip Chatterjee, who then took guard opposite his skipper strove to keep Bengal in the chase. He had stitched a 31-run stand with Manoj when the captain was bowled by his opposite number. Chatterjee then worked with Anustup Mujumdar to keep the side in the game. Playing watchfully the pair had added 65 runs fifth wicket until Mujumdar was given out lbw coming down the track to Aparajith.

Facing an unphill task, Chatterjee looked to strive on but 10 runs later found his stumps dismantled by Kishore after compiling 58 runs. With the fall of the last specialist batsman leaving the team on 143 for six, the balance tipped in TN’s favour. Having hit a big six, in the previous over, Shami looking to go for another big hit stepped out to Shah and was stumped for eight. 16 runs later, Pragyan Ojha too departed taking the aerial route while Dinda was castled by Aswin, leaving the team on 172 for nine. Amir Gani, who had toiled to keep the innings afloat, claimed by Mohammed to wrap-up the game.  

BCCI Staff

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Central Zone claim Senior Women’s Inter-zonal three-day title

Raut leading run-scorer; Bisht and Gayakwad top wicket-takers’ list

Central Zone emerged winners of the Senior Women’s Inter-zonal three-day tournament, 2016-17. The only team to win two matches, the Mithali Raj-led team finished at the top of the table with 19 points to lift the title.

Ahead of their fourth and last game of the tournament, CZ held the No 1 spot with 16 points while their opposition in the last encounter, West Zone were at No 2 with 11 points and needed a victory to displace the table-toppers. However, CZ dominated the proceedings after winning the toss in Raipur and finished with a first innings lead in the drawn game to claim the title.

Leading run-getter of the tournament, Punam Raut carried her bat in CZ’s first innings to take the team to 205. The opener scored an unbeaten 125 to help the team to a respectable total. While the rest of the line-up returned without much resistance, Raut found support in MD Thirushkamini, who made a 104-ball 35 in the 56-run stand with the opener until she was trapped lbw by Anuja Patil. WZ’s M Dakshini claimed three for 42 as they wrapped up CZ’s first innings in 94.3 overs.

The CZ spinners – Ekta Bisht (3/20), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (2/21) and Poonam Yadav (2/32) - then skittled out West Zone for 114 to help their team seize a solid 91-run lead.

Building on the lead, the CZ middle-order made useful contributions to set the opponents a stiff 251-run target. Mona Meshram opening the innings for CZ was sent back for eight by Dakshini while R Dabhi followed up with the wicket of Raut, who had come to the crease at No 3 to leave the side on 37 for two. However, Nuzhat Parween anchored the innings to take the side to 159 for five until Mithali declared the innings. The wicketkeeper-bat scored an unbeaten 55, while Pallavi Bharadwaj made 32 and Thirushkamini opening the innings contributed 31.

Defending the total, Bisht dealt the first blow to leave WZ on 18 for one. She bowled Y Bhatia to set the ball rolling. The spinners then continued to claim wickets at regular intervals as they pursued victory. While Jemimah R (45 off 100) at the top of the order and Patil (72* off 108) lower down order showed resistance to keep the innings in the fray, the CZ spinners wreaked havoc. Gayakwad picked four for 51, while Bisht took two and Yadav and Raut claimed a wicket each as they left WZ on 157 for eight until the match ended in a draw.

With 21 wickets apiece, Bisht and Gayakwad finished at the top two positions in the wicket-takers list.
CZ had begun their campaign with a thumping win against East Zone. The innings and 76-run win gave then seven points (one point bonus). Raut had starred in the game with a 145-run knock while Gayakwad and Deepti had claimed five-wicket hauls in EZ’s first and second innings respectively.

The Mithali-led team then posted a nine-wicket win against South Zone and followed it up with a first innings lead in a drawn match against North Zone. The consistent performances helped them finish at the top of the table and finish the season on a high note.  

BCCI Staff

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