Having batted out two days for a first innings total of 456 for seven declared, Tamil Nadu has all but assured there will be no outright result in its season opener against Services.
At the end of the third day’s play here on Tuesday, veteran Yashpal Singh was the only hurdle remaining in the visitors’ pursuit of three points for a first innings lead.
Yashpal was battling on 87 with senior pro Sarabjit Singh (13) as the Services scorecard read 245 for five at stumps.
The biggest concern for the host was the lack of any worthwhile partnership, with Yashpal and captain Soumik Chatterjee coming closest to having one.
The duo batted for 27.4 overs for 61 runs but that was not enough to give the impetus the team needed. Pratik Desai started aggressively, hitting 19-year-old Aswin Crist — making his first-class debut — for two fours in the first over. Three overs later, the bowler hit back, a miscued pull going to Sunil Sam at fine-leg.
That was the beginning of a series of starts that Services could not build upon. Yashpal came in after the fall of Anshul Gupta and Vishnu Tiwari with the score reading 98 for three.
He and Chatterjee looked to be succeeding in re-building the innings when Chatterjee tried to hoist one over long-on and was caught off the final ball before tea. It was an abrupt end to a patient innings that had lasted almost five-and-a-half hours (47, 224b, 1x6, 2x4).
Yashpal, meanwhile, had his share of luck, surviving a close run out on 28 and being dropped by L. Balaji on 42.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: 456 (for seven decl. in 167 overs).
Services — 1st innings: Pratik Desai c Sam b Crist 19, Soumik Chatterjee c Crist b Abhinav 47, Anshul Gupta st Dinesh Karthik b Malolan 37, Vishnu Tiwari lbw b Malolan 3, Yashpal Singh (batting) 87, Rajat Paliwal c Karthik b Aushik 5, Sarabjit Singh (batting) 13; Extras (b-6, lb-6, nb-16, w-1, penalty-5): 34; Total (for 5 wickets in 101 overs): 245.
Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-94, 3-98, 4-159, 5-191.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Sunil Sam 20-5-53-0, Lakshmipathy Balaji 14-3-28-0, Malolan Rangarajan 18-7-46-2, Aswin Crist 13-3-45-1, Aushik Srinivas 28-18-38-1, Baba Aparajith 5-0-15-0, Abhinav Mukund 3-1-3-1.