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Aparajith, Rishi Dhawan set up Tamil Nadu vs Himachal final in Vijay Hazare Trophy

Jackson's 134 and Sakariya's 5 for 62 went in vain for Saurashtra whereas Services were bowled out for 204 by Himachal Pradesh

Hemant Brar
Hemant Brar
24-Dec-2021
B Aparajith knocks the ball to the leg side, Bihar v Tamil Nadu, Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20, Jaipur, September 28, 2019

File photo: Baba Aparajith's knock included 12 fours and three sixes  •  NurPhoto/Getty Images

Tamil Nadu 314 for 8 (Aparajith 122, Washington 70, Indrajith 50, Sakariya 5-62) beat Saurashtra 310 for 8 (Jackson 134, Vasavada 57, Jadeja 52, Vijay 4-72, Silambarasan 3-54) by two wickets
Baba Aparajith's 122 trumped Sheldon Jackson's 134 and Chetan Sakariya's 5 for 62 as Tamil Nadu beat Saurashtra in a last-ball thriller at the KL Saini Ground in Jaipur to qualify for the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22.
Aparajith's 124-ball knock, which included 12 fours and three sixes, ensured the required rate was never a problem for Tamil Nadu in their 311-run chase. He was well supported by his brother Baba Indrajith, with whom he added 97 off 107 balls for the third wicket, and Washington Sundar, with whom he stitched 76 in 79 balls for the fifth wicket.
When Aparajith got out in the 43rd over, Tamil Nadu needed 67 from 44 balls with five wickets in hand and a set Washington in the middle. The incoming batter, Shahrukh Khan, then hit Jaydev Unadkat for a six and a four to reduce the equation to 32 required from four overs.
It started looking like Saurashtra had all but lost the game, but Sakariya removed both Shahrukh and Washington (70 off 61) in his successive overs to dent Tamil Nadu once again. At the start of the chase, he had dismissed N Jagadeesan and Vijay Shankar to reduce Tamil Nadu to 23 for 2 in the fourth over.
On the last ball of the 49th over, Sakariya sent back M Siddharth to complete his maiden five-wicket haul in List A cricket, leaving Tamil Nadu eight down.
With seven required from the final over, Chirag Jani conceded only four off the first four balls against R Sai Kishore and Ragupathy Silambarasan. But a wide and a single on the penultimate ball by Silambarasan tied the scores. Kishore then hit the last ball for four to seal the match.
In the morning, Saurashtra lost Harvik Desai early after being asked to bat. Jackson and Vishvaraj Jadeja took the side past 100 in the 22nd over; both Jackson and Jadeja brought up their half-centuries before left-arm spinner Siddharth broke the 92-run stand with the latter's wicket. But at 123 for 2 in 25.2 overs, the platform was set for a big total.
Prerak Mankad (37 off 32) and Arpit Vasavada (57 off 40) took full advantage of that to provide impetus to the innings. Meanwhile, Jackson brought up his hundred off 106 balls and, in all, hit 11 fours and four sixes during his knock. That, however, couldn't fetch the win for Saurashtra.
Himachal Pradesh 281 for 6 (Dhawan 84, Chopra 78, Bahadur 2-52) beat Services 204 (Paliwal 55, Chauhan 45, Dhawan 4-27) by 77 runs
Yet another all-round show from captain Rishi Dhawan steered Himachal Pradesh into their maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy final, ending Services' fairy-tale run in the tournament at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
After scoring 84 off 77 balls to lift HP to 281 for 6, Dhawan picked up 4 for 27 to help bundle out Services for 204 in 46.1 overs.
Earlier in the day, Prashant Chopra and Digvijay Rangi added 74 for the second wicket for HP but Services struck back with two quick wickets to make it 106 for 4 in the 25th over.
Dhawan then joined hands with Chopra, who soon brought up his fifth successive half-century of the tournament. The two added 88 in 103 balls for the fifth wicket before Chopra fell to Abhishek Tiwari for a 109-ball 78.
If the partnership between Dhawan and Chopra stabilised the innings, the one between Dhawan and Akash Vasisht took the game away from Services. Dhawan and Vasisht smashed 83 off just 48 balls for the sixth wicket as HP ransacked 101 in the last ten overs. Dhawan struck nine fours and a six in his knock, while Vasisht remained unbeaten on 45 off 29 with four fours and two sixes.
Dhawan, though, wasn't done yet. He caused further damage with the ball, removing Lakhan Singh and Mohit Ahlawat cheaply to leave Services on 36 for 2 in their chase of 282. Ravi Chauhan (45 off 70) and Rajat Paliwal (55 off 66) showed some resistance but neither could carry on to make a big score.
By the time Paliwal got out, in the 37th over, the asking rate had gone past nine an over. In search of quick runs, Services slipped from 174 for 5 to 179 for 8. The last two pairs took the side past 200 before Dhawan pegged back Bahadur's middle stump to wrap up the game.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo