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Baba Aparajith’s fifty helps Tamil Nadu seal semi-final spot

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Tamil Nadu defeated Himachal Pradesh by five wickets to seal their semi-final spot in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on Tuesday.

In the day’s second quarter-final, Tamil Nadu first restricted Himachal Pradesh to 135/9 and then rode on Baba Aparajith’s unbeaten 52 to overhaul the target in 17.5 overs.

Tamil Nadu kept on taking wickets at regular intervals as they did not allow opposition batsmen to settle down. HP skipper Rishi Dhawan top-scored with an unbeaten 35 off 26 balls. Opener Abhimanyu Rana (28) and one-down Nitin Sharma (26) failed to convert their starts.

For TN, right-arm pacer Sonu Yadav (3/14) did bulk of the damage and was ably supported by Sandeep Warrior (2/32), R Sai Kishore (1/27) and M Mohammed (1/18).

Watch highlights: Kaul helps Punjab trounce defending champs Karnataka in Syed Mushtaq Ali quarters

While chasing, Tamil Nadu lost openers Narayan Jagadeesan (7), C Hari Nishanth (17) and Arun Karthik (0) early and were 25 for 3 at one stage.

Tamil Nadu were in a spot of bother when they slipped to 66 for 5 but Aparajith, who struck three fours and two sixes, and Shahrukh Khan (40 not out off 19 balls; 5×4, 2×6) conjured an unbeaten 75-run match-winning sixth wicket stand to take the side home.

Brief Scores:

Himachal Pradesh 135/9 (Rishi Dhawan 35 not out, Abhimanyu Rana 28; Sonu Yadav 3/14, Sandeep Warrior 2/32) lost to Tamil Nadu 141/5 (B Aparajith 52 not out, Shahrukh Khan 40 not out; Vaibhav Arora 3/30) by 5 wickets.

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