For the second time in four days, Tamil Nadu couldn’t complete a job it had, for the most part, done proficiently. Having allowed Baroda to recover from 128 for nine in the first innings, Tamil Nadu let the opposition off the hook again, from 167 for eight this time. As a result, Dinesh Karthik’s visiting side had to settle for three points from its Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match here at Moti Bagh.
Had either of those opportunities been taken, an outright win and six or possibly seven points would have been the reward. Instead Tamil Nadu’s points tally moved to 13 from six matches. Vidarbha has the same numbers. Uttar Pradesh (21 points from six matches), Baroda (21 from seven), Delhi (17 from seven), Odisha (16 from six) and Karnataka (14 from six) line up in that order in the race for the top three spots in Group ‘B’.
With two home games in hand, Tamil Nadu has a mathematical possibility of making the quarterfinals, but it has left itself a lot to do. Baroda captain Ambati Rayudu (66) and numbers 10 and 11 — Murtuja Vahora (38) and Bhargav Bhatt (22 n.o.) — proved the key men again, turning the momentum after four wickets had fallen on Monday morning.
Instead of chasing something in the order of 160 from 60 overs, the tourists had to pursue 239 from 41.
Tamil Nadu had a dip, but with S. Badrinath unable to bat after a back spasm and M. Vijay and Dinesh Karthik falling in trying to force the pace, the small possibility of a successful chase vanished.
Abhinav Mukund got much-needed runs and B. Aparajith continued his first-innings touch before the game was called off with 26 overs bowled.
Tamil Nadu will look back at the match with regret. Three dropped catches — two in the first innings and one in the second — proved contest-turning.
J. Kaushik and Sunil Sam, who missed the chances, did commendably to make amends with the ball. But it wasn’t to be.
The scores: Baroda — 1st innings: 208.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: 230.
Baroda — 2nd innings: S. Wakaskar c Yomahesh b Kaushik 12, A. Waghmode c Vijay b Kaushik 39, A. Chauhan c Karthik b Kaushik 29, K. Panchal lbw b Sam 0, A. Rayudu c Kaushik b Yomahesh 66, Pinal Shah c Karthik b Yomahesh 1, R. Solanki run out 17, Gagandeep b Sam 10, S. Vohra c Prasanna b Kaushik 0, M. Vahora c Karthik b Sam 38, B. Bhatt (not out) 22; Extras (b-8, lb-10, nb-2 w-6): 26; Total (in 112.4 overs): 260.
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-91, 3-92, 4-105, 5-116, 6-149, 7-166, 8-167, 9-225.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Kaushik 30-12-62-4, Sam 28.4-8-63-3, Malolan 17-10-24-0, Vijay Shankar 4-1-19-0, Yomahesh 24-7-61-2, Prasanna 8-4-7-0, Aparajith 1-0-6-0.
Tamil Nadu — 2nd innings: Abhinav Mukund (not out) 45, M. Vijay c Vohra b Panchal 13, D. Karthik c Chauhan b Panchal 0, B. Aparajith (not out) 40; Extras (b-4, lb-2, nb-1, w-3): 10; Total (for two wkts. in 26 overs): 108.
Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-32.
Baroda bowling: Gagandeep 5-2-22-0, Panchal 10-2-40-2, Vohra 6-1-23-0, Bhatt 3-0-10-0, Waghmode 2-0-7-0.