Axar hits Tamil Nadu hopes for a six

 Axar Patel’s dream run in the tournament ended Tamil Nadu’s hopes of a fifth Vijay Hazare Trophy title as the all-rounder’s six-for set up Gujarat’s 31-run victory in their semifinal contest here at the Alur (1) ground on Saturday.

Batting first, Gujarat posted a competitive 248 for eight in 50 overs, with Chirag Gandhi (71) and Manprit Juneja (74) being the star performers.    

Tamil Nadu’s response was anchored by a brilliant unbeaten century from Abhinav Mukund (104) but Axar’s splendid show with the ball proved to be too good for Ravichandran Ashwin’s men and they were shot out for 217, with 15 balls to spare.

At 87 for five, with their key batsmen Axar and Parthiv back in the pavilion, Gujarat found themselves in deep trouble. But Tamil Nadu let their opposition off the hook by allowing Gandhi and Chirag to forge a partnership of 93 runs that turned the fortunes in favour of Gujarat. 

In response, Tamil Nadu got off to a superb start, with openers Mukund and Dinesh Karthik scoring at fair clip. In the 17th over, with the score being 84 for no loss, Axar got Karthik’s wicket in the very second ball he bowled.

Karthik, who ambitiously stepped out, was dismissed stumped. In a span of four overs, Tamil Nadu lost three wickets, all to Axar.

From 124 for five, Ashwin and Mukund raised hopes with a 51-run stand, but Axar removed Ashwin and Vijay Shankar in his second spell to end Tamil Nadu’s quest for a victory. Jasprit Bumrah cleaned up the tail even as a dejected Mukund left stranded at 104.

score board

GUJARAT: Parthiv Patel c Mukund b Satish 0 (3b), Priyank Panchal lbw Rangarajan 25 (36b, 4x4), Bharghav Merai c Karthik b Balaji 16 (27b, 1x4), Rujul Bhat c Mukund b Ashiwn 3 (22b), Chirag Gandhi c Balaji b Shankar 71 (82b, 9x4), Axar Patel lbw Ashwin 17 (24b, 2x4), Manprit Juneja c Balaji b Ashwin 74 (71b, 3x4, 1x6), Rohit Dahiya (not out) 21 (25b, 1x6), Rush Kalaria c Rangarajan b Shankar 6 (8b), Hardik Patel (not out) 1 (2b). Extras (B-1, LB-2, W-11) 14. Total (for 8 wkts, in 50 overs) 248.

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Parthiv), 2-35 (Merai), 3-45 (Bhat), 4-45 (Panchal), 5-87 (Axar), 6-180 (Gandhi), 7-229 (Juneja), 8-237 (Kalaria).

Bowling: Rajagopal Satish 6-1-21-1 (w-1), Lakshmipathy Balaji 8-0-37-1, Aswin Crist 8-0-43-0 (w-5), Malolan Rangarajan 10-0-57-1, Ravichandran Aswhin 10-1-51-3 (w-3), Vijay Shankar 8-1-36-2 (w-2).

TAMIL NADU: Abhinav Mukund (not out) 104 (142b, 6x4), Dinesh Karthik st Parthiv b Axar 41 (51b, 5x4), Baba Aparajith st Parthiv b Axar 7 (10b, 1x4), Baba Indrajith c Bhatt b Axar 1 (4b), Murali Vijay st Parthiv b Axar 0 (3b), Rajagopal Satish b Hardik 15 (21b, 1x4), Ravichandran Ashwin c Bhatt b Axar 22 (33b, 1x4), Vijay Shankar st Parthiv b Axar 10 (10b), Malolan Rangarajan (run out) 3 (6b), Aswin Crist b Bumrah 7 (4b, 1x6), Lakshmipathy Balaji b Bumrah 0 (1b). Extras (LB-2, W-5) 7. Total (all out, 47.3 overs) 217.

Fall of wickets: 1-84 (Karthik), 2-96 (Aparajith), 3-98 (Indrajith), 4-98 (Vijay), 5-124 (Satish), 6-175 (Ashwin), 7-197 (Shankar), 8-203 (Rangarajan), 9-217 (Crist). Bowling: Rush Kalaria 6-0-35-0 (w-4), Jasprit Bumrah 8.3-0-45-2, Rohit Dahiya 5-0-28-0, Har­dik Patel 8-0-30-1 (w-1), Rujul Bhatt 10-0-34-0, Axar Patel 10-1-43-6.

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