It promises to be a great start to the New Year with a blockbuster last day of Ranji Trophy group stages expected — four quarterfinal places are still up for grabs. But not in Chennai, as the Group ‘B’ match involving Tamil Nadu and Haryana at the IC-Gurunanak meanders its way towards a draw on what will probably be an inconsequential final day.
The relegation threat that loomed over both sides and the slim chances they had of progressing to the quarterfinals before the start are now virtually extinct. Only an improbable win for Maharashtra against Karnataka at Pune will change the equations.
Tamil Nadu batted almost the whole of the third day, declaring at 571 for the loss six wickets, leaving Haryana three overs to fend off before the end.
Earlier in the day, overnight batsman K.B. Arun Karthick (54, 123b, 7x4) was the first to fall after safely negotiating the first hour. R. Prasanna joined Karthik in the middle and the duo was rarely troubled. Tamil Nadu went into lunch at 289 for four with Karthik unbeaten on 76.
Immediately after lunch, he was dropped by Yuzvendra Chahal at gully on 80, but the breakthrough came in the form of Prasanna, who was out leg before to paceman Mohit Sharma for 33. It took over three hours for Haryana to celebrate its next success as centurions Vijay Shankar (100 n.o., 162b, 10x4, 3x6) and Karthik (187, 296b, 17x4, 3x6) built an impressive partnership of 184 spread over either side of tea.
Karthik brought up his second century of the season in the post lunch session and was eventually out for 187. Vijay Shankar’s century was his first Ranji hundred — two effortless sixes down the ground being the highlight.
The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund b Yuzvendra Chahal 60, M. Vijay c Yatharth Tomar b Yuzvendra Chahal 24, B. Aparajith c Nitin Saini b Yatharth Tomar 42, K.B. Arun Karthick c Nitin Saini b Mohit Sharma 54, Dinesh Karthik c Jayant Yadav b Yuzvendra Chahal 187, R. Prasanna lbw Mohit Sharma 33, Vijay Shankar 100 (not out), V. Yomahesh 57 (not out); Extras (lb-5, nb-8, wd-1): 14; Total (for six decl. in 170.3 overs): 571.
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-122, 3-132, 4-237, 5-304, 6-488.
Haryana bowling: Mohit Sharma 29.3-5-77-2, Harshal Patel 14-5-25-0, Joginder Sharma 32-4-105-0, Yuzvendra Chahal 57-5-235-3, Jayant Yadav 35-8-112-0, Yatharth Tomar 3-0-12-1.
Haryana — 1st innings: Nitin Saini (batting) 2, Rahul Dewan (batting) 5; Total (for no loss in three overs): 7.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Sunil Sam 1-0-2-0, Rahil S. Shah 1-0-5-0, R. Aushik Srinivas 1-1-0-0.
Other scores (Round nine, day three): Group ‘A’: At Mumbai: Gujarat 244 & 159 for five in 53.5 overs (Parthiv Patel 47) vs. Mumbai 447 in 134.2 overs (Wasim Jaffer 171, Hiken Shah 82, Suryakumar Yadav 42, Abhishek Nayar 72 n.o.).
At Kolkata: Railways 214 & 314 for nine decl. in 88 overs (Amit Paunikar 54, Mahesh Rawat 75 n.o., Krishnakant Upadhyay 55) vs. Bengal 157 & 13 for one in seven overs.
At Jaipur: Rajasthan 384 & 103 for two in 35 overs (Vineet Saxena 54 batting) vs. Hyderabad 349 in 96.5 overs (K. Sumanth 43, P. Akshath Reddy 41, Parth Jala 75 n.o., A. Ashish Reddy 62, Rituraj Singh four for 86).
At Rajkot: Saurashtra 242 & 303 for four decl. in 76 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 203 n.o., Aarpit Vasavada 55) vs. Madhya Pradesh 135 & 89 for two in 24 overs (Jalaj Saxena 46 batting).
Group ‘B’: At Pune: Karnataka 572 for nine decl. vs. Maharashtra 99 in 29.1 overs (Abhimanyu Mithun six for 36, Stuart Binny four for 37) & 315 for two in 74 overs (Harshad Khadiwale 136, Sangram Atitkar 78, Ankit Bawne 80 batting).
At Cuttack: Uttar Pradesh 160 & 111 bt Odisha 127 & 101 in 37.2 overs (Imtiaz Ahmed five for 29). Points: UP 6 (33), Odisha 0 (16).
At Nagpur: Delhi 523 for nine decl. vs. Vidarbha 257 in 85.4 overs (Shalabh Shrivastava 45, Hemang Badani 68) & one for no loss in three overs.
Group ‘C’: At Porvorim (Goa): Goa 381 & 11 for no loss in seven overs vs. Assam 366 in 123.3 overs (Pallavkumar Das 70, Sibsankar Roy 87, Dheeraj Jadhav 52, Shadab Jakati four for 72).
At Jammu: Tripura 226 for five in 85 overs (Subhrajit Roy 86, S. Abbas Ali 50 batting) vs. J&K.
At Kadapa: Andhra 329 & 38 for no loss in six overs vs. Kerala 312 in 98.5 overs (V.A. Jagadeesh 117, Sanju Samson 122, D.P. Vijaykumar four for 77, T. Atchuta Rao four for 78).
At Delhi: Services 185 & 152 in 60.4 overs (Avishek Sinha 47 n.o., Ajay Yadav six for 43, Shahbaz Nadeem four for 64) vs. Jharkhand 120 & 35 for no loss in 11 overs.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy