Haryana into Vijay Hazare final thanks to Rana and Kamboj

In the Vijay Hazare semifinal match on Wednesday (December 13) at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot, Haryana defeated Tamil Nadu by 63 runs thanks to a collected century from Himanshu Rana (116 off 118 balls) and a wonderful spell from Anshul Kamboj (4/30). After a brief collapse, late cameos from Sumit Kumar and Harshal Patel helped Haryana to a respectable total. Rana’s valiant efforts and his 132-run partnership for the second wicket with Yuvraj Singh (65) put the side in a comfortable position. Tamil Nadu was always playing catch-up after losing too many wickets early in the chase, therefore the pursuit never really got going. They ultimately came up far short.

After deciding to bat, Haryana lost opener Ankit Kumar to T Natarajan early on, but a strong combination between Yuvraj and Rana kept the innings going. They increased the pace gradually after surviving the initial storm caused by Tamil Nadu’s bowlers. When Natarajan came back for another spell, the worrying partnership was shattered, and Haryana lost five wickets for just sixty runs during that time. After aiming for a score between 290 and 300, Haryana appeared to be at risk of losing by less than 275. Still, Rana held his ground, and he and Sumit stitched together a vital 75-run partnership during which the latter scored an incredible 48 runs off of just 30 balls. As Haryana passed the 290-run threshold, Harshal also delivered a few powerful hits.

As Kamboj dismissed Hari Nishanth and Sumit easily dismissed Baba Aparajith in his new-ball stint, the momentum from his cameo left Tamil Nadu reeling early on. Narayan Jagadeesan batted for a long, although he was incredibly inefficient during his innings. He eventually succumbed to the rising necessary rate pressure. Although Baba Indrajith managed to score fifty runs and had backing from Dinesh Karthik and Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Tamil Nadu was left with an overwhelming amount of work to do in the aftermath. Despite losing early wickets and failing to get off to a quick start, Haryana managed to stay one step ahead of the game and made it into the Vijay Hazare Trophy final for the first time.

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