Dinesh Karthik’s heroics edge out Bengal in the ‘title clash’ : The Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper-batsman, Dinesh Karthik brought up his 10th List A century (112, 198m, 120b, 14*4) in his 173rd innings and ensured that his team lifted the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017, defeating Bengal by 37 runs.
Electing to bat, Tamil Nadu found themselves in dire straits losing five wickets with just 134 runs on the board in 27.5 overs.
It was only Dinesh Karthik who held on to one end and kept the score board moving, with very little support from the other end. They crossed their 200-mark in the 44th over.
There was only one significant partnership of 85 runs in 17.2 overs for the fifth-wicket between Dinesh Karthik and Baba Indrajith (32).
For Bengal, the speedster, Mohammad Shami, who had returned from injury, literally ‘spewed venom’ and was instrumental in putting pressure on the TN batsmen. He claimed four wickets, giving away 26 runs in his spell of 8.2 overs.
The other speedster, Ashok Dinda returned with the figure of 9-0-36-3.
Karthik was the last man to get out in the 48th over in an unfortunate manner. Trying to slam a full toss delivery from Shami, which was wide outside the leg stump, could not connect. The bat, on the follow-through, dislodged the bails and he was declared out, ‘hit-wicket’. It was a sad way to depart after putting in a great effort.
Tamil Nadu innings folded with 217 runs in 47.3 overs.
The target of 218 was not in any way scary for the Bengal boys since they had successfully chased 300+ runs in their quarter-final encounter against Maharashtra at the same venue, a few days prior.
However, the centurion heroes of the semi-final clash, Srivats Goswami (23) and Abhimanyu Easwaran (1), failed to give a start that the team needed. Abhi departed early, ‘running himself out’, trying to take a single which was not there.
While wickets fell regularly, a sixth-wicket partnership of 65 runs in 14.4 overs between Sudip Chatterjee (58) and Anustup Majumdar (24) was not enough to see Bengal reach the target.
The Tamil Nadu bowlers, Aswin Crist (7-1-23-2), M Mohammad (7.5-1-30-2) and Rahil Shah (7-1-38-2) never allowed the Bengal batsmen to settle.
Though there was a semblance of a chance for Bengal to ’cross the line’, the departure of Sudip Chatterjee, in the 39th over, put paid to all hopes. Chatterjee, who was striking well, was bowled around the legs by Sai Kishore.
With not much of a resistance to offer, Bengal succumbed in the 46th over, falling short by 37 runs.
On a track, where every batsman failed, Dinesh Kathik stood rock-solid to ensure his team lifted the Trophy. He was rightfully adjudged the ‘Player of the Match.’
Incidentally he also ended the season as the ‘table topper’ in the tournament’s ‘run-getters’ with an accumulation of 607 runs, a tournament record.