Himachal peak with Hazare Trophy

Jaipur, December 26

Himachal Pradesh won their biggest prize in cricket with a stunning 11-run victory over the mighty Tamil Nadu in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy here today. Youngster Shubham Arora scored his maiden List A century as HP downed five-time champions Tamil Nadu under the VJD method, winning their first limited-overs championship.

Chasing a stiff 315, Himachal Pradesh, playing their maiden Vijay Hazare final, responded in style with 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Arora scoring a fine 136 not out with 13 fours and one six. With HP 299/4 in 47.3 overs, needing only 16 off 15 balls, bad light suspended play at 5pm and Himachal were declared the winners.

Tamil Nadu have been the best domestic side in the country in white-ball cricket since the 2019-20 season. After losing the finals of the one-day and T20 competitions in 2019, the team has won back-to-back titles in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but underdogs Himachal outplayed the favourites today.

On a day when veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik smashed an entertaining 103-ball 116, young Himachal glovesman Arora outshone the seasoned pro with his calculated, unbeaten century under pressure.

With the score reading 96/3, HP captain Rishi Dhawan sent in Amit Kumar ahead of himself, choosing to play the role of a finisher. The move paid dividends as the left-right combination of Arora and Amit (74 from 79 balls) added 148 for the fourth wicket in a match-winning partnership. When Amit was dismissed, HP needed 71 from 54 deliveries. Dhawan then came in and played his role to perfection, hammering 42 off 23 balls to make it look easy in the end.

Brief scores: TN 314 in 49.4 overs (Karthik 116, Indrajith 80; Jaswal 4/59, Dhawan 3/62); HP 299/4 in 47.3 overs (Arora 136*, Amit 74, Dhawan 42*)

HP won by 11 runs via VJD method after bad light suspended play. — Agencies

Courtesy: Tribune India

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