It’s the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy and it will be played between Tamil Nadu and Bengal. The match will commence at 9:00 am IST on 20 March. It will be played at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, New Delhi. The match will be telecasted on Start Sports 2 and the online viewers can watch the match on Hoststar.com.
After going through the zonal stage and the knockouts, we finally have two teams to compete for the title — Bengal and Tamil Nadu (TN). While Vijay Shankar-led TN overcame a strong Baroda in the first semi-final, Manoj Tiwary’s Bengal beat MS Dhoni’s Jharkhand in the second semi-final.
Both Bengal and Tamil Nadu have proved their mettle in the limited overs format having played back-to-back finals in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 editions.
On both occasions, it was Tamil Nadu, who comfortably went past the finishing line with Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay scoring centuries. Also Read: Vijay Hazare Trophy: Mohammed Shami set to play final against Tamil Nadu
It will be an occasion when Tiwary and his young boys can extract revenge against Vijay Shankar’s team who are known to fire on big occasions.
On paper, Tamil Nadu may be slightly better side than Bengal on a man to man basis. Dinesh Karthik with 495 runs is a match-winner on his day. A breezy 65-70 runs from Karthik can turn the match on its head.
Seasoned Karthik will have an answer in Bengal’s young opener Abhimanyu Easwaran, who is second on the list with 471 runs to his credit. The national selection committee thinks highly of Easwaran and no wonder he is a part of India U-23 Emerging squad.
Not to forget skipper Vijay Shankar, who is being groomed as an all-rounder with bigger responsibilities in mind.
But he will face resistance from Tiwary, a man with a penchant for firing on big occasions in the domestic circuit.
Both teams have had contrasting passage to the final. While Tamil Nadu have chased modest 200 plus totals comfortably against Gujarat in the quarter-final and Baroda in the semi-final, Bengal won two high-scoring matches in the knock-out stages.
Against Maharashtra, Bengal successfully chased 318 — their highest in Hazare Trophy history and then plundered 329 against Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Jharkhand. Even Dhoni’s impressive 70 was enough to stop Bengal from getting through to the final.
After playing some consistent cricket throughout the tournament, both these teams thoroughly deserve to be in the final.
It promises to be neck to neck match between two and it will be an interesting event to see who lift the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017 at the end of the game.