Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Kerala go down to TN in opener

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Leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin, second right, is congratulated by teammates on picking up a wicket. Photo: KCA
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Thiruvananthapuram: Tamil Nadu beat Kerala by 37 runs in their opening match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 Championships here on Friday.

Chasing a stiff target of 175, Kerala could manage only 137/8 in 20 overs.

Barring Rohan Kunnummal (34), Sachin Baby (32), Vishnu Vinod (24) and Mohammed Azharuddeen (17) rest of the Kerala batsmen failed to make it to double digits. Medium-pacers T Natarajan and G Periyasamy claimed three wickets apiece for Tamil Nadu.

Earlier, Kerala captain Robin Uthappa won the toss and put Tamil Nadu in to bat. Baba Aparajith and Dinesh Karthik steadied the Tamil Nadu innings after openers Murali Vijay (1) and Jagadeesan Narayan (8) fell cheaply.

Aparajith made 35 before retiring hurt, while Karthik scored 33 as the duo added 56 runs for the third wicket. Though Vijay Shankar (25) and Shahruk Khan (28) too chipped in, it was Mohammed Saleem's unbeaten 34 off 11 balls which took Tamil Nadu to a challenging 174/5. Saleem smashed three fours and as many sixes in his cameo.

Pacer Basil Thampi claimed 3/49.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 174/5 in 20 overs (Baba Aparajith 35 (retired hurt), Mohammed Saleem 34 not out; Basil Thampi 3/49) bt Kerala 137/8 in 20 overs (Rohan Kunnummal 34, Sachin Baby 32; T Natarajan 3/25, G Periyasamy 3/36).

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