Tamil Nadu earned three points, but nothing more, as its Ranji Trophy encounter against Madhya Pradesh meandered to a draw at the Holkar Stadium on Sunday.
Throughout the day, it never looked like TN would finish victorious; the batsmen enjoyed a comfortable stay on this track as the ball neither spun nor jumped sharply.
MP, though, would have been satisfied with a point after coming to grief for putting Tamil Nadu into bat. However, the fourth morning did produce some tense moments.
Devendra Bundela and Anand Rajan’s eight-wicket stand had halted TN’s charge the previous evening, but the duo failed to cause further frustration as the latter was sent back by a direct hit from Abhinav Mukund at point.
Amarjeet Singh did aid his skipper’s push for a century for a while before poking at a rising Aswin Crist delivery to depart. The three-figure mark eventually proved out of Bundela’s reach as Aushik Srinivas beat Ishwar Pandey with a straight delivery.
Asked to follow-on, MP needed to survive 72 overs to draw the match. Despite the batsmen-friendly conditions, it took TN only 20 balls to strike the first blow. Satyam Choudhary edged Sunil Sam’s away-shaping delivery to the wicketkeeper.
For the next 20 overs, like in the first innings, Naman Ojha took the attack to the bowlers, his 63-ball stay yielding eight fours and two sixes.
In the 20th over, though, the wicketkeeper-batsman was very fortunate to survive an lbw appeal from Srinivas. Ojha caused further anguish to TN when he dispatched the spinner for a six over extra-cover soon after.
But, in Srinivas’s following over, the 30-year-old was finally dismissed as he played one shot too many, holing out to long-off.
Jalaj Saxena departed five overs later to offer a glimmer of hope to TN.
But, Mohnish Mishra and Rameez Khan dampened the opposition’s optimism, before the former unleashed a flurry of sixes to reach his fifty off 73 balls.
As the match was beginning to peter out, both teams agreed to call off the proceedings 45 minutes from time.