Dinesh Karthik has a sense of occasion but his team comes up short on the big occasion.

The wicket-keeper batsman notched up a century in the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai at Chepauk in 2004. In Tamil Nadu's next appearance in the summit clash — at the same venue but against Rajasthan seven years later — he made another hundred but his team disappointed. Karthik had mixed feelings as he spoke, here, on Sunday after his fighting innings of 150 on the fourth day. “We are a good bowling unit but the pitch offered very little on the first two days.

“When we batted, a lot of deliveries kept low and a few bounced unexpectedly. We feel slightly done in by the pitch. I think too much hinged on the toss in this match,” he said.

The 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman rated this century better than the one he scored against Mumbai in the final. “That hundred was made on the first day. The batting conditions were easier. Things were much tougher on the fourth day this time.”

During the innings, Karthik went past 3000 runs in Ranji Trophy. This was also his 11th century in the competition.

Rajasthan paceman Rituraj Singh has scalped 26 batsmen at 15.03 in this Ranji season. And the final here is only his fourth match.

The promising bowler said. “Matches are not won or lost on tosses alone. It's a hard battle out there. We batted for more than two days and it was not easy. We had a plan. We were not expected to do well against a strong Tamil Nadu team at home. We were not flashy but did the simple things right.”

On his strategy with the ball, the 21-year-old Rituraj said the pacemen wanted to bowl full and swing the ball. “We did not want to give deliveries for the cut and the pull.”

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