Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Hari Nishaanth stars in TN’s win over Jharkhand | Cricket News

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CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu began their Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 campaign with a comfortable 66-run win over Jharkhand in their Elite Group B clash at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. Opener C Hari Nishaanth (92 n.o., 8×4, 3×6) and skipper Dinesh Karthik (46, 3×4, 4×6) propelled TN to 189-5 before medium-pacers Sandeep Warrier (2-22) and Sonu Yadav (3-31) — who both made their debuts for the state — restricted Jharkhand to 123-7.
The first half of play was all about Hari Nishaanth’s measured stroke-making. The 24-year-old left-hander was watchful to start with — scoring 17 runs from the first 19 deliveries he faced. It was only in the sixth over of the innings — bowled by pacer Rahul Shukla — that Hari Nishaanth signalled his intentions. A six over long-on followed by a boundary over square region gave Hari Nishaanth the much-needed impetus. In the very next over, Hari Nishaanth hit a maximum over long-on in off-spinner Utkarsh Singh’s bowling. Jharkhand were guilty of dropping Hari Nishaanth thrice — twice in the deep and once by Jharkhand wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan.
With each passing over, Hari Nishaanth grew in confidence. In the company of N Jagadeesan (27, 2×4, 1×6), Hari Nishaanth added 72 in 9.5 overs to lay the foundation for TN’s innings. The side’s scoring rate went up many notches once Karthik arrived at the crease. The Hari Nishaanth-Karthik combination blasted 98 for the third wicket in quick-time — 45 balls — as TN finished with a flourish. Karthik was at his belligerent best during his 17-ball and took special liking for medium-pacer Monu Kumar. He hit Monu for 22 runs in the 18th over which included 3 sixes and 1 four.
With a strong total to defend, the bowlers led by Warrier – who moved from Kerala to TN this season — and Sonu kept a tight leash on the Jharkhand batsmen. Anand Singh (28 n.o.) and Virat Singh (23) were the leading contributors for Jharkhand in what was a forgettable day for them.
“Hari Nishaanth’s knock was a joy to watch. The instructions were very clear — to get your eye in before going for the shots — and he did just that. I am pleased with the way everyone contributed in today’s win,” coach D Vasu told TOI.
Vijay Shankar walks off with a niggle: Allrounder Vijay Shankar suffered a hamstring niggle while bowling against Jharkhand on Sunday. He walked off the field after delivering just 2.1 overs. “The physio is working on him and we will see how he progresses in the coming days,” a source close to the team said.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 189-5 in 20 overs (C Hari Nishaanth 92; Dinesh Karthik 46; Rahul 2-27). Jharkhand 123-7 in 20 overs (Anand Singh 28 n.o.; Sonu Yadav 3-31, Sandeep Warrier 2-22). Tamil Nadu won by 66 runs.

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