The venue for the match was adjacent to a busy highway. Vehicles whistled past. And Tamil Nadu took the highway to nowhere on a sputtering vehicle with a limp, spiritless performance. Where has the fight gone?
The side was blown away by Rajasthan in its first game of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament. A 53-run defeat is a massive margin in this format.
After conceding 181 runs, Tamil Nadu was never in the hunt on the chase in this Group B match here on Thursday at the C.B. Patel Stadium.
The Rajasthan pace pack of Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Aniket Chowdhary tormented the inexperienced Tamil Nadu’s batting.
And the spinners leggie Rahul Chahar and debutant Ravi Bishnoi delighted with the flight, turn and bounce. “Ours is a young, inexperienced side. Rajasthan has a good attack.
The air speed of the Rajasthan pacemen made the difference,” said Tamil Nadu captain R. Ashwin.
And the Tamil Nadu bowling bled towards the end. Rajasthan was 100 for four in 14.2 overs when Chetan Bist got out.
The side romped to 181 for four. “We conceded too many runs in the end overs,” said Ashwin.
All the runs that Rajasthan plundered in the last five overs with the powerful and expansive strokeplay of skipper Mahipal Lomror (78 not out, 52b, 6×4, 4×6) and Tajinder Singh (38 not out, 19b, 1×4, 4×6) took the game away from Tamil Nadu. That phase was the turning point. Tamil Nadu had elected to field.
Deepak Chahar moved the ball, the wiry Khaleel Ahmed seamed and swung the sphere at a telling pace, and the lanky Aniket was on target.
Shahrukh Khan’s 23, opening the innings, remained the top score of the innings as the Rajasthan bowlers tore into the Tamil Nadu batting.
N. Jagadeesan was castled by a lovely off-spinner from Bishnoi. Then Bishnoi grabbed a terrific return catch to send back Washington Sundar.
Tamil Nadu continued to lose wickets. The big-hitting R. Vivek (17), a TNPL sensation, found life a lot harder against the extra pace of the Rajasthan bowlers. Khaleel, lively and compelling, closed out the innings.
Rajasthan 181 for four in 21 overs (Aditya Garhwal 30, Mahipal Lomror 78 n.o., Chetan Bist 28, Tajinder Singh 38 n.o.) bt Tamil Nadu 128 in 19.5 overs (Deepak Chahar three for 30, Khaleel Ahmed three for 14). Rajasthan 4 points, Tamil Nadu 0.