Jaipur: Abhinav Mukund (84) and Baba Aparajith (87) shone as Tamil Nadu thrashed Tripura by 187 runs for its sixth straight win in Group C of the Vijay Hazare Trophy cricket tournament on Sunday.
After posting an imposing 315 for 8 in 50 overs riding on impressive knocks by Mukund and Aparajith, Tamil Nadu shot out Tripura for 128 in 34.3 overs with left-arm pacer T Natarajan taking three wickets to pocket four points.
Spinners R Sai Kishore and M Ashwin picked up 2 scalps each as Tamil Nadu made short work of Tripura to take its tally to 24 points. Chasing 316 for victory, Tripura never seemed to be in the hunt as it kept losing wickets at regular intervals and slid for 105 for 4 to 128 all out in the 35th over.
After a steady opening stand of 34, Vijay Shankar provided the first breakthrough for Tamil Nadu as Udiyan Bose was caught by Murali Vijay for 20 with the score on 27.
There was no meaningful partnership as Natarajan and the other bowlers kept the Tripura batsmen on a leash. Pratuysh Singh (24) and Milind, who also contributed 24 made useful contributions.
Leggie Ashwin finished things off by having Ajoy Sarkar caught by Abhinav Mukund for a duck. Batting first after winning the toss, the experienced Murali Vijay (18), who scored a ton in the previous game against Jammu and Kashmir, fell lbw to MB Mura Singh after spanking four boundaries and looking in good touch.
The left-handed opener Abhinav Mukund, who was joined by Aparajith and the two played attractive shots on both sides of the wicket. Their 128-run partnership for the second wicket provided a solid platform for Tamil Nadu.
Out-of-favour Test opener Mukund, who has been in good form, scoring two half-centuries, and Aparajith, who has four 50s in the tournament so far, adopted contrasting methods to keep the runs coming.
Mukund hit some superb drives while Aparajith was not afraid to hit the ball in the air and hit four big sixes. Mukund looked good to get a century, but fell 16 short, nicking one from Neelambuj Vats to the wicketkeeper NN Sen Choudhury.
Similarily, Aparajith missed out on a ton, being run out by Tripura captain MB Mura Singh for a well-compiled 87. Skipper Dinesh Karthik looked in fine form, stroking fluently from the word go, and his quickfire 64-run partnership with MS Washington Sundar (36) for the fourth wicket put the team in a strong position.
However, the dismissal of Karthik (40), Vijay Shankar (1) and Sundar in the space of four runs, pegged Tamil Nadu back, as the side finished with 315 for in 50 overs.
In another match, Rahul Singh Gahlaut smashed 124 not out (101 balls, 10 fours, 8 sixes) to power Services to a seven-wicket win over Jammu and Kashmir.
Sandeep Sharma takes career-best 7/19 in Punjab's win over Haryana
Pacer Sandeep Sharma wrecked havoc with a career-best figures of 7 for 19 as Punjab beat Haryana by three wickets in a low scoring Elite Group B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy National One-Day tournament, here on Sunday.
Sharma alongisde Sidharth Kaul (3 wickets) saw Haryana get bundled out for a paltry 49 runs in 16 overs.
The Haryana batting was in shambles with only two of their batsmen managing to reach double digits and as many as five being dismissed for a duck.
Opener Nitin Saini top-scored for Haryana with 22 runs while Sumit Kumar chipped in with 13.
In reply, Punjab made hard work of a simple task. They lost wickets at regular intervals with pacer Ajit Chahal getting early breakthroughs for Hayana.
The duo of Chahal 4/32 and Harshal Patel 2/12 claimed six wickets but the total tuned out to be too low in the end.
Opener Abhishek Sharma stood his ground and anchored his team to victory. He was the top scorer and remained unbeaten at 22.
All of the other Punjab batsmen failed to reach double digits with four them heading back to the pavilion without opening their accounts.
Tamil Nadu 315 for 8 in 50 overs (Abhinav Mukund 84 (87 balls, 11 fours), Baba Aparajith 87 (97 balls, 2 four, 4 sixes), Dinesh Karthik 40, Washington Sundar 36, Ajoy Sarkar 3/51, Neelambuj Vats 2/60) beat Tripura 128 all out in 34.3 overs (Pratyush Singh 24, Milind 24, T Natarajan 3/22, M Ashwin 2/13).
TN: 4 points, Tripura: 0.
Jammu & Kashmir 189 all out in 48.3 overs (Paras Sharma 49, Fazil Rashid 39, Diwesh Gurudev Pathania 4/39, Varun Choudhary 2/27) lost to Services 190 for 3 in 34.2 overs (Rahul Singh Gahlaut 124 not out (101 balls, 10 fours, 8 sixes, Rajat Paliwal 49).
Services: 4 points, J&K: 0.
Rajasthan 206 all out in 47.4 overs (Arjit Gupta 90, R K Bishnoi 37, Chetan Bist 30, Himanshu Sangwan 4/44, Ananta Sinha 3/51) vs Railways 206 for 8 in 50 overs (Dinesh Mor 92 not out, AR Lamba 4/15).
Rajasthan: 2 points, Railways: 2 points.
Haryana: 49 in 16 overs (Nitin Saini 22; Sandeep Sharma 7-19)
Punjab: 50/7 in 15.1 overs (Abhishek Sharma 22 not out; Ajit Chahal 4-32).
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