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Vijay Hazare Trophy | Silambarasan, Jagadeesan carry TN to semis; Prashant Chopra pushes HP past UP

Raghupathy Silambarasan and Narayan Jagadeesan played an impressive part in Tamil Nadu’s trouncing of arch-rivals Karanatak in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22. 

This is now the second time in the same year that Karnataka have been defeated in a knockout of a tournament at the hands of Tamil Nadu. Prior to this meeting, Shahrukh Khan’s brilliant last ball six help the Southernmost state of India beat its coffee hub in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22 Final held at Delhi. 

In this game too, Shahrukh did play a major role, but roles more poignant than him came in the bags of fast bowler Ragupathy Silambarasan, who is playing his first List A seasons and experienced batter Jagadeesan. Silambarasan was the main reason behind Karantak timidly surrendering in their chase as they were bowled out for 203 in only 39 overs. 

The 29-year-old Silambarasan took four wickets as none of the Karnataka batters was able to get past even the fifty run mark. Along with him, Washington Sundar also picked three wickets. 

Earlier in the day, after losing the toss and being asked to bat first at the KL Saini Stadium in Jaipur, the Tamil Nadu team was boosted by a brilliant century from Jagadeesan. He made several partnerships along with Dinesh Karthik, R Sai Kishore and Baba Indrajith. However, the run rate was relatively slow until  Shahrukh arrived at the crease. 

It was courtesy of a flamboyant knock from the destructive hitter Shahrukh that Tamil Nadu managed to score 64 runs in the last four overs. He remained unbeaten at 79 off just 39 balls.

Himachal into semis for the first time since 2015-16

It was also a historic day for Himachal Pradesh as it marched to only its second semi-final in the history of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The Rishi Dhawan led team defeated last season’s finalists Uttar Pradesh by five wickets at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur in another quarterfinal. 

Batting first, Uttar Pradesh could only manage to get to 206 in their 50 overs as they were too late to recover from early blows where they had t struggle badly at 39-4. The heroes from the quarterfinals, Rinku Singh and Akshdeep Nath were once again together, but miracles don’t happen daily and as a result, Akshdeep wasn’t able to convert his start. 

At 103-5, UP were staring down the barrel before Bhuvaneshwar Kumar partnered Rinku for a 75 run partnership. But just as he started to free himself, even Rinku was nabbed by Pankaj Jaswal and thus UP could reach only 207. Bhuvi made 46 off 52 balls before getting out on the last ball of the innings. 

Himachal started cautiously and riding on brilliant 99 from Prashant Chopra, chased down the total in the 46th over itself. It was however unfortunate that Chopra couldn't get a century for the effort he put in. 

There are two more quarterfinals remaining which would be played on December 22 at the two venues in Jaipur between Services and Kerala and Saurashtra and Vidarbha respectively.

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