Vijay Hazare Trophy: Mukund, Dinesh Karthik shine in Tamil Nadu’s win over Rajasthan

Half-centuries by out-of-favor India opener Abhinav Mukund (75, 83 balls, 7 fours) and Baba Aparajith (52, 67 balls, 2 fours) helped Tamil Nadu put it across host Rajasthan by six wickets in its opening Group ‘C’ match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Tuesday.

Skipper Dinesh Karthik with a brisk knock of 52 not out (52 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) saw the team home in the company of M Shahrukh Khan (47 not out, 39 balls, 6 fours).

The left-handed Mukund and Aparajith set the platform for Tamil Nadu after the aggressive N Jagadeesan (7) fell in the seventh over to left-arm pacer Aniket Choudhary.

Mukund played some fine shots while Aparajith preferred to be watchful and rotated the strike well.

Earlier, sent in to bat by Tamil Nadu, the home team recovered from 53 for 4 to post 261 in the 50 overs, thanks to a stroke knock of 77 by right-hander Arjit Gupta.

Gupta, who hit seven fours and three sixes in 82 balls, was involved in an 87-run partnership with Ashok Menaria (35).

Medium-pacer K Vignesh bowled well to start with and got opener Chetan Bist (4) in the second over. He dismissed the other opener Manender Singh (7) and the key wicket of captain Mahipal Lomror (11, 27 balls) to reduce Rajasthan to 53 for 4.

In other matches on Tuesday, Tripura defeated Jammu & Kashmir by two wickets and Gujarat beat Bengal by 38 runs.

Brief scores: Rajasthan 261 for 9 in 50 overs (Arjit Gupta 77, Rahul Chahar 48, Ashok Menaria 35, K Vignesh 3/34, M Mohammed 2/58, R Sai Kishore 2/66) lost to Tamil Nadu (Abhinav Mukund 75, B Aparajith 52, Dinesh Karthik 52 not out, Shahrukh Khan 48 not out, Aniket Choudhary 1/53) by six wickets.

Points: TN: 4, Rajasthan: 0.

Gujarat 253 for 8 in 50 overs (Bhargav Merai 63, Manprit Juneja 47, Kathan D Patel 36, Ashoke Dinda 3/58) beat Bengal 215 all out in 46.2 overs (Shreevats Goswami 79, Anustup Majumdar 39, Rush Kalaria 4/34, Axar Patel 1/47) by 38 runs.

Points: Gujarat: 4, Bengal: 0.

Jammu & Kashmir 197 all out in 43.2 overs (Qamran Iqbal 43, Fazil Rashid 38, Harmit Singh 3/32) lost to Tripura 198 for 8 (Bishal Ghosh 62, Milind Kumar 77, Umar Nazir 3/45) by 2 wickets.

Points: Tripura: 4, J&K: 0.

All opening round matches of the Vijay Hazare Elite Group ‘B’ were washed out on Tuesday without a ball being played due to wet outfield.

The overnight rain caused all six teams — Delhi, Vidarbha, Maharashtra, Himachal, Baroda, and Odisha — to get two points each.

The tournament will see several India internationals trying to leave a mark while competing for the top honors.

Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and pacer Navdeep Saini, who recently made his India debut, will feature in the Delhi side.

While Karnataka vice-captain KL Rahul, who has been out of favour in India’s Test side, will also look to re-establish his white-ball credentials.

A total of 38 teams are vying for the title this season with Chandigarh being the new entrants.

The top five teams from Groups A and B combined (sorted by points tally), the top two teams from Group C, and the Group D leader will qualify for the quarter-finals. The final will be played on October 25.

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