Tamil Nadu beat Bengal in a high-scoring final to win the Vijay Hazare Trophy here on Tuesday. Bengal had lost the plot when Tamil Nadu set them a massive 380-run target, but they fought back hard before falling just 29 runs short.
S. Anirudha and M. Vijay gave Tamil Nadu a rollicking start with an 85-run partnership for the first wicket.
Anirudha, in particular, had his foot firmly on the accelerator, but left-arm spinner Soumya Pakre foxed him soon after he reached his half-century.
Vijay, however, went on to complete a fine hundred, studded with seven boundaries and three sixes. He shared a 120-run partnership with Abhinav Mukund (75) for the second wicket. And by the time Vijay fell for 103, Tamil Nadu had the perfect stage to launch the final assault, and Dinesh Karthik made the most of it. He smashed a sizzling 88 off just 47 balls, packed with 11 boundaries and three sixes, to propel Tamil Nadu to a massive 379.
In reply, Shreevats Goswami (81) and Sourav Ganguly (74) kept Bengal in the hunt with a 120-run partnership for the second wicket. Once these two fell, followed by a few more wickets, Bengal looked out of the game. A quickfire 66 off just 44 balls by Anustup Majumdar down the order raised some hopes, but eventually the task proved beyond them.