Put in to bat by the Tamil Nadu skipper B Indrajith, Saurashtra made 293 for 8 in 50 overs. Half centuries by Harvik Desai, Arpit Vasavada and Chirag Jani powered Saurashtra.
Tamil Nadu’s prolific opening pair of N Jagadeesan and B Sai Sudharsan was separated quite early with Chetan Sakariya ((1/31) trapping the former LBW when the batter had made only 8.
Jagadeesan, who has hit five centuries on the trot and made a List A record score of 277 in the league phase, was expected to play a key role for Tamil Nadu. His early dismissal was a huge setback for last year’s runners-up.
Saurashtra struck three more crucial blows, removing Sudharsan (24), B Aparajith (4) and the experienced Dinesh Karthik (9) to seize the advantage.
Captain Baba Indrajith (53) and Sai Kishore (74) joined hands at this juncture and stitched together a 113-run stand for the fifth wicket to bring Tamil Nadu back in the reckoning.
While Indrajith was watchful, Sai Kishore did not mind taking the aerial route and hit three sixes.
Parth Bhut (2/47) did the trick for Saurashtra by removing Indrajith when the partnership was assuming ominous proportions.
Sai Kishore and R Sanjay Yadav (21) added 28 runs for the sixth wicket. Jani, after his heroics with the bat at No.7, had Sai Kishore caught by Samarth Vyas to tilt the balance in his team’s favour.
Though R Sonu Yadav (29, 21 balls, 1 four, 2 sixes) went after the bowling, he lacked support at the other end as the team was bowled out for 249 in 48 overs.
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja (2/48) and Parth Bhut (2/47) picked up two wickets each while Jani finished with a three-wicket haul.
When Saurashtra batted, they were 232 for 7 in the 44th over when all-rounder Jadeja fell for a duck.
Jani (52 not out, 31 balls, 2 fours, 4 sixes) and captain Jaydev Unadkat (22, 20 balls, 2 sixes) piled on TN’s misery with a brisk half century partnership and took the score close to the 300-mark.
Though Saurashtra lost Sheldon Jackson early, Desai (61) and Jay Gohil (34) laid the platform with some smart batting.
Samarth Vyas (27) and Prerak Mankad (35) made useful contributions to add substance to the total. A 78-run stand for the fifth wicket between Vasavada and Mankad came at a crucial time as TN had struck two quick blows.
While Sandeep Warrier (1/44) had removed Desai after his enterprising knock, left-arm spinner M Siddharth (1/46) had Vyas caught by R Sai Kishore.
Brief scores: Saurashtra 293 for 8 in 50 overs (Harvik Desai 61, C Jani 52 not out, A Vasavada 51) beat Tamil Nadu 249 all out in 48 overs (R Sai Kishore 74.B Indrajith 53.C Jani 3/53) by 44 runs.