Tamil Nadu had a batting debacle in their 41-run defeat at the hands of Baroda in their final group B league match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy but that didn’t stop them from qualifying for the knock-out stage of the competition.
Defending champion Mumbai stumbled to a fourth defeat in five games to finish with four points after a humiliating 18-run loss to unfancied Pondicherry.
Though Tamil Nadu (12 points) was well beaten by Baroda, its healthy net run-rate of 1.052 helped the team take the top spot ahead of Karnataka (12 points, NRR 0.789) and Bengal (12 points, NRR 0.235) and Puducherry (12 points, NRR -1.360) after four teams finished equal of points.
Tamil Nadu entered the quarterfinals as it finished on top of the group while Karnataka will play the pre-quarterfinals as the second qualifier from Group B.
It was a forgettable tournament for the Shams Mulani-led Mumbai as it managed only one from five matches to finish last with 4 points after having won the delayed tournament (2020-21) earlier in the year. Their solitary win came against Baroda.
On a day of top-turvy results, Tamil Nadu could not chase down a target of 115 in 50 overs and was shot out for 73 in 20.2 overs as the Baroda spinners Bhargav Bhatt (3/27), Krunal Pandya (2/16) and Gurjindersingh Mann (2/7) strangled the strong opposition batting line-up.
Batting first, after skipper Kedar Devdhar won the toss, Baroda lost wickets at regular intervals and only Krunal Pandya (38, 82 balls, 3 fours) with his uncharacteristic and slow knock, made a significant contribution.
For Tamil Nadu, spinners M S Washington Sundar (2/15), M Siddharth (2/25) and R Sanjay Yadav (2/13) grabbed two wickets apiece as did medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier (2/20).
After a bright start by opener C Hari Nishaanth (11, 8 balls, 1 six, 1 four), things went downhill for Tamil Nadu as the rest of the batters simply fell like a pack of cards and were all out in the 21st over. Only three batters managed double-figures.
None of the big guns-captain Vijay Shankar (1), Dinesh Karthik (1), Washington Sundar (8) and B Indrajith (0) apart from power-hitter M Shahrukh Khan (9) could make an impact in the low-scoring game.
Meanwhile, Karnataka went down to Bengal despite making 252 for 8 in 50 overs thanks to Manish Pandey’s enterprising knock of 90. Skipper Sudip Chatterjee (63) and opener Abhisek Das (58) fashioned Bengal’s victory with Shahbaz Ahmed (26 not out) finishing off the job.
In the Mumbai-Pondicherry match, spinner Fabid Ahmed turned the match the latter’s way with an impressive spell of 4 for 16 in 10 overs with the wickets of talented, young Yashasvi Jaiswal (2), PY Pawar (11), skipper Mulani (6) and Tanush Kotian (0).
Replying to Pondicherry’s 157 riding on Paras Dogra’s 58, Mumbai batters save for Aakarshith Gomel (70, 127 balls, 5 fours) never came to grips with the situation and perished in the face of some accurate bowling. A 49-run ninth wicket stand between Gomel and Dhawal Kulkarni (18) gave Pondicherry the jitters before Sagar Udeshi (2/20) finished off Mumbai’s hopes.
Karnataka 252 for 8 in 50 overs (Manish Pandey 90, 85 balls, Rohan Kadam 37, Karun Nair 25, Pradipta Pramanik 4/48) lost to Bengal 253 for 6 in 48.3 overs (Sudip Chatterjee 63, Abhisek Das 58, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury 49, Shahbaz Ahmed 26 not out) by four wickets. Bengal: 4 points, Karnataka: 0.
Baroda 114 all out in 39 overs (Krunal Pandya 38, R Sanjay Yadav 2/13) beat Tamil Nadu 73 all out in 20.2 overs (Bhargav Bhatt 3/27, Gurjindersingh Mann 2/7) by 41 runs. Baroda: 4 points, TN: 0.
Pondicherry 157 all out in 46 overs (Paras Dogra 58 (84 balls, 6×4, 1×6), Mohit Avasthi 3/19) beat Mumbai 139 all out in 48.1 overs (Aakarshith Gomel 70 (127 balls, 5X4), Fabid Ahmed 4/16) by 18 runs. Pondicherry: 4 points, Mumbai: 0.
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