Vijay Hazare: Tamil Nadu bow out despite Mukund’s fighting ton: Having featured in 7 games upto the quarterfinal stage and put on 255 runs at an average of 36.42, a century and that too an unbeaten one, in the all important semi final encounter, might have been what the 24-year old Tamil Nadu opener, Abhinav Mukund, planned.
The plan fell into place and he was able to notch up his 10th List A century in his 61st game (60th innings) when he went onto score an unbeaten 104* runs with 6 fours off 142 deliveries in 3 hours time.
This great effort of the youngster came to a nought as Tamil Nadu, who chose to field on winning the toss, went down to Himachal Pradesh by 31 runs with 15 deliveries to spare.
Earlier, put into bat, Himachal Pradesh ended their innings with 248/8 in their allotted 50 overs, backed a well-made 71 runs by Chirag Gandhi and another 74 runs by their off spinner, Manpreet Juneja. The duo also put up 93 runs partnership (the highest for any wicket in this match) in 19 overs for the sixth-wicket.
Tamil Nadu skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin was successful in claiming the wickets of Rujul Bhatt (3), Axar Patel (17) and Manpreet Juneja (74). In the process he was a bit costly, giving away 51 runs in his 10 overs.
Vijay Shankar took a couple of wickets giving away 36 runs in 8 overs.
Tamil Nadu started the chase well, with the openers Mukund and the wicket-keeper, Dinesh Karthik (41) together putting up 84 runs for the first wicket. Thereafter, no other batsman had any reply to the left-arm spin attack of Axar Patel.
Only Ashwin could put up some sort a resistance. Scoring 21 runs off 33 deliveries with a solitary boundary, he went on to add 51 runs in 12.4 pvers alongwith Mukund. This was the only meaningful partnership in Tamil Nadu’s innings.
With Mukund being the lone fighter from one end and running out partner, the innings of Tamil Nadu folded up with 217/10 in 47.3 overs.
For Gujarat, Axar Patel put up one of his best bowling performance, picking up 6 wickets in 10 overs, giving away 43 runs. This was his maiden List 5-wcket haul. He was awarded the Player of the Match.
The dream run of Tamil Nadu came to an end with this defeat. How much Ashwin and his boys would have wanted to play in the final and win the trophy for the benefit of the team’s ‘natural disaster suffering’ fans and followers but unfortunately faltered on the pen-ultimate step.
Gujarat take on Delhi in the title clash slated to be played on 28th December, 2015, at Bangalore.