Tamil Nadu started their campaign in the Vijay Hazare Trophy One-Day cricket competition with a brilliant 54-run triumph over defending champions Mumbai in an Elite Group B encounter here on Wednesday, with Shahrukh Khan starring with a blazing 66 off 35 balls. Tamil Nadu got off to a strong start after being sent in to bat by Mumbai skipper Shams Mulani, with newcomer B Sai Sudharsan (24 off 24 balls, 4 fours) and captain N Jagadeesan (20) establishing the foundation for a huge score.

After experienced pacer Dhawal Kulkarni (3 for 45 from 10 overs) dismissed the two openers in the space of four runs, M S Washington Sundar and B Indrajith teamed up for the third wicket. Washington, who is returning in the lineup after an injury setback, hit three boundaries in his 58-ball 34-ball innings. Before being caught and bowled by Tushar Deshpande (2/57), he looked good. Dinesh Karthik, who had been out of the team since the Mushtaq Ali event, looked to make a breakthrough and made 32.

The introduction of Shahrukh, who starred in Tamil Nadu’s victory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 event by slamming a last-ball six, transformed the game’s complexion. In his innings (66, 35 balls, 6X4, 5X6), he simply tore at the Mumbai attack, clobbering five big sixers as the opposition withered under the onslaught. Former champion Tamil Nadu were on overdrive in the slog overs, scoring a large total thanks to an 88-run partnership with J Kousik (32 off 38 balls). Mumbai’s retaliation got off to a shaky start, with openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (5) and Armaan Jaffer (9) losing to Sandeep Warrier (1/49) and R Silambarasan (1/40) respectively.

Siddhesh Lad, the team’s crisis player, smashed two fours and a six in his 16-ball knock but was dismissed by R Sai Kishore (2/35 in 9 overs). Mumbai was down to 107 for 5 in the 29th over, and only Mulani’s valiant 75 (100 balls, 6X4, 1X6) saved the squad from oblivion. The Mumbai innings was cleaned up in the 47th over by Washington (3/60) and left-arm spinner M Siddharth (3/43 in 10 overs), ensuring a solid start for Tamil Nadu. In another game, Karnataka defeated Pondicherry by 236 runs, thanks to R Samarth’s 95 and J Suchith’s 4 for 3 spells, while Bengal defeated Baroda by 27 runs.