Tamil Nadu kept alive its slim hopes of qualification with a 67-run win in its fourth match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy (Elite Group B) over Jharkhand on Friday.
Electing to bat, Tamil Nadu made 266 for seven with half-centuries from opener B. Aparajith (57, 105b, 6×4), M. Shahrukh Khan (51, 47b, 3×4, 3×6) and J. Kousik (55, 40b, 7×4, 2×6).
In reply, Jharkhand could manage only 199 for nine in 50 overs as left-arm spinner M. Siddharth took three wickets (3/33) while Aparajith and medium-pacer R. Silambarasan chipped in with two each.
Earlier, TN was struggling at 131 for five when Aparajith, who held fort at one end, was dismissed. Shahrukh and Kousik then added 50 runs for the sixth wicket.
R. Sai Kishore (29 n.o.) and M. Mohammed (20 n.o.) then chipped in with valuable contributions towards the end with the former adding 55 runs for the seventh wicket with Kousik.
For Jharkhand, the No. 11 Rahul Shukla slammed an unbeaten 42 to help his side recover from 145 for nine and reduce the margin of defeat and ensure it did not lose out heavily on the net run rate.
It was Jharkhand’s first loss of the tournament and still leads the points table with three wins and a healthy NRR of +1. 339.
In the other Group B match, Madhya Pradesh thrashed Andhra by 98 runs riding on Rajat Patidar’s 61-ball 102 (8×4, 5×6).
Asked to bat, MP made 316 for eight after openers Abhishek Bhandari (49) and Shubham Sharma (78) put on 105 for the first wicket. Patidar and Shubham then added another 106 runs for the second wicket.
In reply, Andhra was bowled out for 218, with leg-spinner Mihir Hirwani returning four for 50.
K. Nithish Kumar Reddy made a valiant 59 (67b, 5×4, 2×6) but lacked support from the other end.
Punjab (+0.413), Tamil Nadu (-0.251), Andhra (-0.295) and Madhya Pradesh (-1.107) are all tied on eight points. If Jharkhand loses its last game against Andhra, there is a chance of three teams ending up on 12 points.