Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Saravana Kumar five-fer vaults TN into SMAT finals. Vijay Shankar-led Tamil Nadu entered the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Vijay Shankar-led Tamil Nadu entered the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
P. Saravana Kumar claimed a sensational five-fer as Tamil Nadu decimated a rudderless Hyderabad in the first semifinal of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The seamer finished with figures of 5 for 21 as Hyderabad were bowled out for a paltry 90, a target the defending champions hunted down with eight wickets and 46 balls to spare.
Pipping a dominant TN side was already going to be a difficult task for Hyderabad but their task was compounded rather early when they lost the toss on a nippy morning and were made to bat first. The statistics were out in sharp focus. In 14 games here this season, teams batting first had managed an average score of 137 and won just three games.
If anything, Hyderabad could be excused for expecting threats from elsewhere in the TN line-up than the 32-year-old Kumar, playing only his third T20 game, especially after he'd conceded 48 in 3.3 overs in his second. But using the early morning nip to great effect, the seamer began with a maiden and the wicket of Tanmay Agarwal. No runs came off his second over too and they brought two more wickets, those of Tilak Verma and Himalay Agarwal.
Kumar conceded his first runs off his 14th ball, a six by Bavanaka Sandeep. But he came back to claim Pragnay Reddy off a cut shot for his fourth wicket. He returned only in the 19th over and completed his fifer with the wicket of Tanay Thyagarajan (25), the only batsman to score in double digits as Hyderabad collapsed to their second-lowest total in SMAT history.
Hyderabad's fading hopes were given a slight fillip when Rakshann Readdi threatened to reprise Kumar's performance by knocking over the TN openers in the space of two balls. But one-drop Sai Sudarshan and Vijay Shankar allayed any such fears by casually stroking the runs and put them in prime position to successfully defend their title on Monday, when they'll encounter either Vidarbha or Karnataka.
Brief scores: Hyderabad 90 in 18.3 overs (Tanay Thyagarajan 25; Saravana Kumar 5-21) lost to Tamil Nadu 92/2 in 14.2 overs (Vijay Shankar 43*, Sai Sudarshan 34; Rakshann Readdi 2-23) by 8 wickets