Karthik, Yusuf shine on truncated day
In the context of where Tamil Nadu and Baroda stand in Group B — in fifth and seventh places respectively — a stalemate wasn’t what they had bargained for at the start of their Ranji Trophy fixture. But after Saturday witnessed truncated action courtesy rain and poor light, playing catch-up with time isn’t going to be easy.
At stumps on day three, one on which start-of-play was delayed by 30 minutes, Tamil Nadu might be marginally happier for it scored 233, and gained the first-innings lead, K. Dinesh Karthik’s knock being the match’s best batting performance thus far.
Baroda mightn’t be altogether disappointed, having erased the 71-run deficit with more enterprising batting.
The visitor was on 73 for one in its second essay when bad light halted play on Sunday.
The pitch, after a long spell under the covers, had calmed down considerably.
Baroda skipper, Yusuf Pathan, who claimed six wickets, and Karthik concurred with the assessment that batting had become easier.
Neither player was certain about how the match would unfold on Monday. While the Tamil Nadu ‘keeper hoped for “some turn and tough deliveries” against Baroda’s batsmen, Yusuf wanted to play “normal cricket”.
In the morning, Tamil Nadu’s batting narrative remained largely unaffected, segueing painlessly into a rhythm. Dinesh Karthik and B. Indrajith, subscribing to different style-sheets, furthered their partnership, putting on 83 runs.
Indrajith was decidedly confident. Not once did the 19-year-old lose his shape, embellishing his cover-drives and leg-glances with balance and authority. Karthik, in keeping with his jumpy persona behind the stumps, was a trigger-happy attacker.
The restlessness manifested in his skipping down the wicket often, slamming the ball relentlessly. As Tamil Nadu neared its opponent’s score, Indrajith fell to Bhatt, his block rolling on to the stumps.
R. Prasanna scratched around before missing a pull against Bhargav Bhatt. Karthik, though, was plain unlucky. The 28-year-old was adjudged lbw by Navdeep Singh Sidhu even as the ball was heading over the stumps.
Baroda’s comeback in this phase was engineered by long spells from Yusuf (19.4-5-45-4) and Bhatt (24-9-55-2).
Together they bowled unchanged between the 57th and 95th overs to fracture the Tamil Nadu middle-order.
Baroda — 1st innings: 162.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: K.B. Arun Karthick lbw b Bhatt 23, Abhinav Mukund b Yusuf 29, B. Indrajith b Yusuf 38, B. Aparajith lbw b Yusuf 2, K. Dinesh Karthik lbw b Yusuf 92, R. Prasanna lbw b Bhatt 9, Malolan Rangarajan c Bhatt b Yusuf 10, Aswin Crist c Pinal Shah b Yusuf 9, L. Balaji c Vahora b Yusuf 9, Rahil S. Shah (run out) 0, R. Aushik Srinivas (not out) 1; Extras (b-5, lb-5,w-1): 11; Total (in 94.4 overs): 233.
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-57, 3-67, 4-150, 5-168, 6-207, 7-215, 8-227, 9-228.
Baroda bowling: Murtuja Vahora 10-3-15-0, Kardik Pandya 6-3-9-0, Ketul Patel 10-1-36-0, Yusuf Pathan 33.4-6-84-6, Bhargav Bhatt 35-13-79-3.
Baroda — 2nd innings: Saurabh Wakaskar (run out) 20, Dhiren Mistry(batting) 29, Aditya Waghmode (batting) 19; Extras (b-4, lb-1): 5; Total (for one wkt. in 33 overs): 73.
Fall of wickets: 1-38.
Tamil Nadu bowling: L. Balaji 6-2-10-0, Aswin Crist 2-0-6-0, Aushik Srininvas 9-3-17-0, Malolan Rangarajan 8-2-15-0, Rahil Shah 8-1-20-0.
This article has been corrected for a factual error.