Vijay Shankar (63 batting, 114b, 5x4, 2x6) announced his arrival in first class cricket with a good knock and helped Tamil Nadu consolidate its position at 443 for eight in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ league match against Vidarbha at the VCA Stadium here on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu is looking for a big first innings score in order to put pressure on the home team and gain at least three points from its fifth league match.
The 21-year-old Vijay Shankar survived some tense moments after the home team had scalped Baba Aparajith and R. Prasanna. He escaped a close run out call with the third umpire referral confirming that he had grounded his bat in the crease. He also saw medium pacer Amol Jungade react rather late to a straight hard-hit shot. But after these two hiccups, he proceeded to stay at the crease for a little over two-and-a-half hours and forge an unbeaten stand of 52 runs with M. Ashwin.
Playing his third first class match the leg-spinner opened his account with a single in the 26th ball he faced and further blocked another 22 balls and ensured that Vidarbha was kept on the field for two days.
The second day of the match began with Badrinath (overnight on 101) make the seamers Sandeep Singh and Shreekant Wagh pay for the slightest error in line and length. He came down the pitch to lift off-spinner Gaurav Upadhyay for a straight six.
But Tamil Nadu suffered a setback when Aparajith directed a good ball from Sandeep into the hands of Faiz Fazal at second slip. Badrinath and Prasanna put on 92 runs for the fifth wicket before the left-hander missed a sweep and was trapped in front.
Vidarbha soon picked up the wickets of Badrinath (192, 381b, 21x4, 3x6), V. Yomahesh and L. Balaji, but Vijay Shankar in the company of Ashwin, not only kept the opponent at bay for an hour, but also provided some thrust to the team score that eventually crossed the 200-run mark when he stepped out of his crease and hit two sixes off Ruikar and made a memorable half-century in his debut match.
Tamil Nadu — Ist innings: K.B. Arun Karthik lbw b Wagh 26, A. Mukund c Patel b Wagh 33, S. Badrinath b Sandeep 192, D. Karthik c Patel b Ruikar 49, B. Aparajith c Fazal b Sandeep 13, R. Prasanna lbw b Ruikar 33, Vijay Shankar (batting) 63, V. Yomahesh c Patel b Wagh 1, L. Balaji c Patel b Wagh 5, M. Ashwin (batting) 1, Extras (b-14, lb-9, w-4): 27; Total (for eight wkts. in 180 overs): 443.
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-71, 3-204, 4-251, 5-343, 6-378, 7-381, 8-391.
Vidarbha bowling: Sandeep Singh 36-8-83-2, Wagh 39-6-101-4, Jungade 38-9-72-0, Fazal 17-6-30-0, Ruikar 28-3-78-2, Upadhyaya 22-3-56-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy