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March 9, 2009
Tamil Nadu 284 for 6 (Mukund 118, Suresh 41, Dinda 3-52) beat Bengal 218 (Tiwary 76, Ashwin 3-25, Suthesh 3-55) by 66 runs
A solid century from opener Abhinav Mukund, backed by impressive bowling from Rangaraj Suthesh and Ravichandran Ashwin helped Tamil Nadu beat Bengal in the final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Agartala. After Mukund's 118 of 140 balls pushed Tamil Nadu to a commanding 284 in their 50 overs, Suthesh and Ashwin bagged three wickets apiece to complete the win.
Tamil Nadu made a steady start after winning the toss, with Mukund and Srikkanth Anirudha putting on 46 by the 10th over. Aniruddha became Ashok Dinda's first victim, caught by Iresh Saxena for 26. Subramaniam Badrinath provided able support, adding 77 with Mukund for the second wicket before departing for 30.
Mukund, though, continued undeterred and forged another crucial partnership of 95 with Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan for the fourth wicket, bringing up his hundred in the process. Mukund's innings included 12 fours and a six, and when he was dismissed in the 46th over, the run-rate stood at just over five.
Enter Suresh Kumar, who unleashed a blitz to completely disrupt the rhythm of the Bengal bowlers. He faced only 18 balls, but smashed an unbeaten 41, comprising one four and four sixes. Thanks to that blast, Tamil Nadu sped to 284. Dinda finished as Bengal's most successful bowler with 3 for 52.
The response from Bengal was insipid, as Suthesh accounted for opener Shreevats Goswami and Debabrata Das quite early. But their saviour from the previous match, Manoj Tiwary, and Wriddhiman Saha stitched together a 74-run partnership for the third wicket to get the chase back on course. Ashwin picked up his first wicket, bowling Saha for 31, but Laxmi Ratan Shukla kept the chase on track with a run-a-ball 26, before Vidyut ran him out.
Tiwary soon brought up his fifty but was running out of partners as the Tamil Nadu bowlers made frequent inroads. He finally departed for 76, having hit seven fours in his 87-ball innings before being bowled by Yo Mahesh.
There was no coming back for Bengal from there on as Suthesh and Ashwin completed the formalities by the 46th over.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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