Tamil Nadu lift Vijay Hazare Trophy for third time

March 9th, 2009 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, March 9 (IANS) Riding on a superb 118 by opener Abhinav Mukund, Tamil Nadu Monday lifted the Vijay Hazare Trophy, defeating strong contenders Bengal by 66 runs at the Maharaja Bir Bikram Stadium here Monday.

It was Tamil Nadu’s third trophy having won it in 2002-03 and 2004-05. It was Bengal’s second loss in a row.

Electing to bat first, Tamil Nadu scored 284 for the loss six wickets in the allotted 50 overs before bundling out Bengal for 218 in the 46th over.

Mukund’s innings came off 140 balls and included twelve boundaries and a six. His hundred was well backed by all-rounder S. Suresh Kumar who hit four sixes and a four in his quick-fire 41 off 18 balls. To cap a brilliant effort, Suresh also took vital wicket of Ashoke Dinda.

Bengal bowlers failed to get any assistance off a featherbed as Tamil Nadu batsmen opened the flood gates.

For Bengal, Dinda picked three wickets for 52 but did not get support from his team mates.

Though Manoj Tiwari and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha contributed 76 and 31 respectively to raise a flicker of hope for Bengal but, they failed to get their team mates’ backing.

Tiwari’s 76 came from 86 balls and included seven fours. Skipper Laxmi Ratan Sukhla made 26 before being run out.

Tamil Nadu’s Sudesh Rajagopala and R. Ashwin ran through the Bengal batting line-up taking three wickets each.

“Both of our batmsmen and bowlers played well. The performance of Abhinav Mukund was excellent all through. The wicket was ideal to bat and our players use it to perfection,” Ashwin said.

Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Sukhla said the team failed to deliver the goods. “We could not play like Tamil Nadu. Except Tiwari and Dinda, others could not do much.”

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