The Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match between Tamil Nadu and Baroda was evenly poised at stumps on the second day here at Moti Bagh.
Responding to Baroda’s 208, Tamil Nadu ended Sunday on 166 for six.
Baroda dominated the first part of the day, the last-wicket pair of Murtuja Vahora (47) and Bhargav Bhatt (36 n.o.) adding 17 to their overnight partnership of 63 before Sunil Sam ended the innings with his third wicket.
Then Baroda’s new-ball pair of Vahora and Sankalp Vohra reduced Tamil Nadu to 18 for three, which was to become 52 for four. Having harboured thoughts of a win when it had had Baroda on 128 for nine, Tamil Nadu was in danger of conceding the lead.
Abhinav Mukund’s difficult season continued when he tickled an intended glance off Vohra, the left-armer, to wicketkeeper Pinal Shah, who took the first of four catches. M. Vijay got a nasty delivery from Vahora, the right-armer. It both rose and left the opener to take the nick. Both openers had been dropped, but they couldn’t make Baroda pay.
When S. Badrinath edged a drive behind, Tamil Nadu was in deep trouble.
It was to get slightly better before it got worse: Dinesh Karthik’s resistance ended in the second over after lunch when he was bowled by one that came in sharply.
B. Aparajith (62) and R. Prasanna (60 batting) rescued the situation with admirably clear-headed batting. They saw out the semi-new ball, which was moving both in the air and off the pitch, and settled before playing some spirited, skilful strokes when the ball lost its hardness and the bowling, its wicket-taking potency.
But the bowlers managed to get the ball moving again after drinks in the final session to take two wickets and make level the contest.
The scores: Baroda — 1st innings: S. Wakaskar c Karthik b Sam 14, A. Waghmode c Abhinav b Kaushik 20, A. Chauhan b Yomahesh 0, R. Solanki c Aparajith b Yomahesh 0, A. Rayudu c Prasanna b Sam 54, Pinal Shah c Vijay b Yomahesh 0, K. Panchal lbw b Yomahesh 12, Gagandeep Singh b Yomahesh 0, S. Vohra c Vijay b Kaushik 18, M. Vahora c Karthik b Sam 47, B. Bhatt (not out) 36; Extras (lb-3, nb-1, w-3): 7. Total (in 91.3 overs): 208.
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-35, 3-35, 4-35, 5-39, 6-71, 7-71, 8-117, 9-128.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Kaushik 24-7-49-2, Sam 27.3-8-73-3, Yomahesh 23-12-26-5, Malolan 11-2-41-0, Vijay Shankar 5-0-10-0, Vijay 1-0-6-0.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund c Shah b Vohra 8, M. Vijay c Shah b Vahora 3, B. Aparajith c Shah b Panchal 62, S. Badrinath c Shah b Vohra 0, D. Karthik b Vahora 23, R. Prasanna (batting) 60, Vijay Shankar b Vahora 4, J. Kaushik (batting) 1; Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5. Total (for six wickets in 82 overs): 166.
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-11, 3-18, 4-52, 5-150, 6-165.
Baroda bowling: Vahora 20-10-23-3, Vohra 14-1-39-2, Gagandeep 18-5-46-0, Panchal 21-12-25-1, Bhatt 8-0-22-0, Chauhan 1-0-9-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match