Neither the surface nor the resolve of Ganesh Satish broke on the third day of the Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy match between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
At stumps here on Sunday, Karnataka was 239 for three, with No.3 Satish batting on 65 (184b, 4x4, 1x5) and Amit Verma on 18.
Karnataka requires exactly 300 more runs to gain the lead on the final day. On a pitch that could offer greater assistance to the spinners after lunch on day four, the odds still favour Tamil Nadu.
Satish milked the bowling and added 74 runs for the second wicket with K.B. Pawan and an unbeaten 55 for the fourth with Verma.
Earlier, openers Pawan (69, 194b, 7x4, 1x6) and Robin Uthappa (53, 134b, 5x4, 1x6) laid a foundation with a 94-run association in 39 overs.
The compact Pawan — reprieved at short gully by Baba Aparajith off paceman J. Kaushik on 61— attempted to thwack part-time leg-spinner Abhinav Mukund and holed out to L. Balaji at mid-on.
Though their figures do not tell the story, three young Tamil Nadu bowlers, in only their second Ranji outing, caught the eye.
Off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan probed the batsmen’s footwork with flight. Perhaps he needs to be more upright at the point of release to make better use of his height. This would also enable him get more body behind his action.
When Malolan bowled an off-stump line from over the wicket, spinning the ball in and straightening the odd one, he made compelling viewing,
He trapped a well-set Uthappa leg-before with a quicker delivery. Malolan also prised out Manish Pandey soon after tea.
Young leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin spun it away from the right-handers.
Then, in a fine but unrewarding spell after tea, he gave the left-handed Verma a torrid time by mixing his stock ball with the top-spinner.
Short in stature, Ashwin achieves a nice trajectory to his delivery, keeping it above the eye level of the batsmen. The leg-spinner, however, needs to work on his googly.
Another home bowler, M. Mohammad, impressed with his skiddy pace. He has a brisk run-up, a semi-open release and a deceptive, quick-arm action.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: 538 for four declared.
Karnataka — 1st innings: K.B. Pawan c Balaji b Mukund 69, R. Uthappa lbw b Malolan 53, G. Satish (batting) 65, M. Pandey c Karthik b Malolan 6, A. Verma (batting) 18, Extras (b-8, lb-2, w-1, nb-17) 28; Total (for three wickets in 100 overs) 239.
Fall of wkts: 1-94, 2-168, 3-184
Tamil Nadu bowling: Balaji 12-8-8-0, Kaushik 12-2-26-0, Mohammad 9-2-25-0, Aparajith 8-1-27-0, M. Ashwin 23-1-73-0, M. Rangarajan 33-12-67-2, A. Mukund 3-1-3-1.