Opener V Ganga Sridhar Raju’s 85 steered Tamil Nadu to the semifinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy with a five-wicket win over Ranji champions Gujarat.
Tamil Nadu knocked out Gujarat with 46 balls to spare at the Palam A Ground.
Opting to bat, Gujarat were all out for a modest 211 in 49.4 overs, thanks to some disciplined bowling from Tamil Nadu.
In reply, Tamil Nadu chased down the target in 42.2 overs.
While Raju knocked off his runs in 95 balls with the help of 12 boundaries, Baba Aparajith was the next best scorer with 34 off 49 balls.
Gujarat’s defeat meant Rujul Bhatt’s unbeaten 83 went in vain.
Gujarat could not capitalise on their decision to bat as left-arm spinner Rahil Shah removed two of the top three batsmen even though Samit Gohel battled with a patient 39 till the 21st over.
Two quick wickets from Vijay Shankar, trapping Het Patel and Chirag Gandhi lbw, meant Gujarat slipped to 110 for five with over 20 overs left.
Bhatt, however, steadied the innings with a brisk half-century and guided the tail to ensure Gujarat batted till the last over.
His 83 came off 98 balls, with five fours and two sixes. Among Tamil Nadu bowlers, Shankar (3 for 48), RS Kishore (2 for 35) and Shah (2 for 34) were the most impressive.
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