Baba Aparajit and Shah Rukh Khan played an unbeaten innings of 52 and 40 respectively in the second quarterfinal of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at Moti Stadium in which Tamil Nadu defeated Himachal Pradesh by five wickets. While Himachal Pradesh has been knocked out, Tamil Nadu entered the semi-finals. Tamil Nadu will now face the winner of the Bihar-Rajasthan match in the first semi-final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Friday. Earlier in the day, Karnataka lost to Punjab to drop out of the tournament.
Chasing 136, Tamil Nadu lost their first three wickets to N. Jagadeeshan (7), Hari Nishant (17), and Arun Karthik (0), long before Vaibhav Arora bowled a clean three and Dinesh Karthik’s. Reduced the score to 25/3. In the fourth over.
Sonu Yadav and Aparajith then got together at the crease and the pair resumed the innings for Tamil Nadu as they smashed a 35-run stand, but as the innings started to gain some stability, Himachal Pradesh got Yadav (16) ), Tamil Nadu is still 76 runs away from the target.
Captain Dinesh Karthik had too much riding on his shoulders, but being disappointed by his side, he managed to score only two runs and Tamil Nadu were let down the barrel at 66/5 in the 13th over. After Karthik was dismissed, Baba Aparajith took matters into his own hands and he changed the pace of his innings to put pressure on the Himachal Pradesh bowlers.
Aparajith then got the support of Shahrukh Khan and both batsmen defeated Tamil Nadu by five wickets with 13 balls to spare. Both played an unbeaten innings of 75 runs off just 32 balls to Tamil Nadu at the finishing line.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu limited Himachal Pradesh to 135/9 in the allotted twenty overs with the help of three wickets by Sonu Yadav.
Told to bat first, Himachal Pradesh had a poor start and opener Prashant Chopra (6) was dismissed in the fourth over of the innings. Baba Aparajit dismissed Rana (28) in the seventh over, bringing Himachal Pradesh to 39/2.
After this, Nitin Sharma and RI Thakur stood together at the crease and the two shared a 29-run partnership, but as Himachal Pradesh started to gain the upper edge, Sandeep Warrier dismissed Nitin (26), which led to the team’s victory. The score increased to 68/3. 12th over.
The Tamil Nadu bowlers were successful in maintaining control of the run-flow, and for Himachal Pradesh, skipper Rishi Dhawan hit an unbeaten 35-run knock and, in the end, the team posted a total score of over 130 runs, allotted twenty overs.
Brief Score: Himachal Pradesh 135/9 (Rishi Dhawan 35 *, Nitin Sharma 26, Sonu Yadav 3-14); Tamil Nadu 141/5 (Baba Aparajit 52 *, Shahrukh Khan 40 *, Vaibhav Arora 3-30).
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