Vijay Hazare semifinal | Tamil Nadu wins a cliffhanger off the final delivery
Aparajith’s century and Washington’s knock eclipse Jackson’s effort for Saurashtra
In a humdinger of a semifinal, Tamil Nadu prevailed over Saurashtra off the last ball of the innings while chasing a mammoth target of 311 to reach the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Friday.
The match saw high-quality individual performances throughout the day, but in the end B. Aparajith’s brilliant 122 (124b, 12×4, 3×6) and Washington Sundar’s masterful 70 (61b, 8×4) under pressure, ensured TN will have a chance to go for a record sixth title on Sunday.
Needing seven off the last over, R. Sai Kishore and R. Silambarasan traded singles off the first five balls of the over which also included an above-the-head bouncer that was deemed wide.
With one required off the last ball and all fielders inside the ring, Sai Kishore creamed one through point to the boundary for a two-wicket win. Earlier, the experienced Sheldon Jackson came to the party after a quiet tournament, with a brilliant 134 (125b, 11×4, 4×6) to help Saurashtra post 310 for eight.
He was well supported by opener Vishvarajsinh Jadeja (52) and the experienced Arpit Vasavada, who came up with a quickfire 57 (40b, 4×4, 2×6). TN’s chase got off to a disastrous start, N. Jagadeesan and skipper Vijay Shankar playing loose shots and falling to Chetan Sakariya (5/62).
Brothers in arms
Aparajith was then joined by his twin Indrajith for a brilliant third-wicket partnership of 97.
Aparajith was the aggressor, playing some delectable punches and drives through the off-side against the pacers and picking up a flurry of boundaries. Indrajith joined the party and made a vital 50.
The experienced Dinesh Karthik chipped in with a quick 31. With 143 needed off just about 20 overs, Washington Sundar played an effortless knock and added 76 with Aparajith for the fifth wicket. Once Aparajith fell, Washington took charge with a knock filled with finesse and style rather than power.
Twist in the tale
With 25 needed off the last three overs, he picked up two boundaries behind point off Unadkat to bring the equation to just 11 off the last two. But Sakariya brought Saurashtra back into the game dismissing Washington and Shahrukh Khan (17, 11b, 1×4, 1×6).
In the end, TN managed to keep it together and will meet Himachal Pradesh in the final.
The scores: Saurashtra 310/8 in 50 overs (Sheldon Jackson 134, Arpit Vasavada 57, Vishvarajsinh Jadeja 52, Vijay Shankar 4/72) lost to Tamil Nadu 311/8 in 50 overs (B. Aparajith 122, Washington Sundar 70, B. Indrajith 50, Chetan Sakariya 5/62).
Final: December 26: Tamil Nadu vs Himachal Pradesh.
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