Vijay Hazare Trophy: Tamil Nadu eases past Bengal

A rollicking opening wicket partnership of 143 in 22.1 overs between Abhinav Mukund and N Jagadeesan propelled Tamil Nadu to a convincing six-wicket win over Bengal in a crucial Group ‘C’ fixture of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
Vijay Hazare Trophy: Tamil Nadu eases past Bengal
N Jagadeesan shared a 143-run stand with fellow opener Abhinav Mukund on Sunday


Having played six matches, TN has won four while losing two. Abhinav was the more aggressive of the two, scoring boundaries at will through the off-side. The 28-year-old Abhinav struck three consecutive boundaries off medium-pacer SS Mondal in the seventh over to take the team total past 50. 
There was no respite for Bengal from the other end too when Jagadeesan creamed a six off spinner Pradipta Pramanik as TN scored a healthy 76 for no loss in 10 overs.
Abhinav raised his 50 off 51 balls with eight fours and at the other end Jagadeesan got into his groove playing a delightful uppercut off Ashok Dinda to bring the team’s 100 in 16 overs.
It wasn’t until the 23rd over that Bengal made the first breakthrough when legspinner Prayas Barman removed Jagadeesan for 55. With a century there for the taking, Abhinav got out when he attempted to clear the infield but all he could manage was to balloon the ball into the mid-off fielder’s hands for a well-made 94 (100b, 11x4).
Later, the in-form B Indrajith (28 not out) and skipper Vijay Shankar saw the team through in the 42nd over. Earlier, a 91-run partnership off 119 balls for the third wicket between captain Manoj Tiwary and Abhimanyu Easwaran laid the foundation for Bengal to score in excess of 250 after TN won the toss and opted to field. Tiwary cut loose with the introduction of B Aparajith smacking him for a six over long-on. Taking a cue from his captain, Abhimanyu smote a straight six in Aparajith’s second over. 
Tiwary’s enterprising innings of 47 (69b, 4x4, 1x6) came to an end when B Anirudh took a brilliant running catch at long-off off R Sai Kishore. Abhimanyu looked well-placed to get a century before J Kousik, playing in place of the injured V Yo Mahesh, came back for a second spell to have him caught at short midwicket by substitute M Shahrukh Khan for 72 (97b, 4x4, 1x6).
Middle-order batsman Anustup Majumdar 39 (33b, 1x4, 2x6) went about rebuilding the innings in the company of Shahbaz Ahamad. 
The host recalled the veteran left-arm spinner Rahil Shah who made minimal impact during his five-over spell. Majumdar grew in confidence essaying a few pleasing drives, and with overs running out he chanced his arm scoring a six over midwicket off Sai Kishore in the 42nd over. Interestingly, that was the first six in more than 12 overs but Bengal received another setback in the very next over when Ahamad got out to spinner CV Varun while attempting to sweep.
Majumdar 39 (33b, 1x4, 2x6) used his feet well against the spinners and brought up the team’s 200 with a boundary over covers off Sai Kishore. At 212 for five with five overs remaining, it seemed the visitor would get past 250 with relative comfort. 
However, everything changed in the 47th over when Vijay Shankar took three wickets while giving away only two runs to limit Bengal to 239. Viay Shankar finished with impressive figures four for 34. In the final over of the innings, pacer M Mohammed scalped two wickets as Bengal was bowled out with two balls remaining.
Brief scores: Bengal 239 in 49.4 overs (Abhimanyu Easwaran 72, Manoj Tiwary 47, Anustup Majumdar 39, Vijay Shankar 4/34, M Mohammed 3/54) lost to Tamil Nadu 240 for four in 42 overs (N Jagadeesan 55, Abhinav Mukund 94, B Aparajith 43, B Indrajith 28*) 
J&K 123 in 34 overs (Ian Chauhan 35, Piyush Chawla 3/29) lost to Gujarat 127 for two in 21.1 overs (Priyank Panchal 49, Bhargav Merai 43*)
Tripura 171 in 45 overs (Bishal Ghosh 36, Bravish Shetty 60, Harshal Patel 3/19, Rahul Tewatia 3/27) lost to Haryana 175 for seven in 41.2 overs (Harshal Patel 41, Chaitanya Bishnoi 55*, Himanshu Rana 34, Rajib Saha 3/25) 

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