Despite managing only an underwhelming batting display, Tamil Nadu left Maharashtra hobbling at 75 for eight, chasing 193 on a hectic and mercurial day three of a Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ game. The home side is now within touching distance of a win and six crucial points.

Eighteen wickets fell on Monday on a pitch that continued to gladden both spinners and seamers. Tamil Nadu, for its part, ought to be disappointed by the manner in which its batsmen threw away their wickets.

Maharashtra’s spinners — left-armers Akshay Darekar (four for 61) and Satyajit Bacchav (one for 12), and offie Chirag Khurana (four for 27) — only had to cash in on the melee.

Quick wickets

In a bid to sustain the momentum, S. Badrinath, a delivery after he cleared the long-on boundary, stepped out only to hand Darekar a return catch. B. Aparajith (35, 4x4) remained steady until he was caught in front. But it was Dinesh Karthik’s (35, 1x6) departure at the stroke of lunch that set his team back. After the interval, wickets fell at breakneck speed. From 120 for five, Tamil Nadu lost its other half for 29 runs — well short of a target that would have been imposing.

Skipper L. Balaji, as he had done on Sunday, landed early blows. Yomahesh’s introduction was the decisive indicator, though, of which way the match was heading — he claimed two wickets in as many overs.

Yomahesh shot down the stumps of both Harshad Khadiwale and Nikhil Paradkar.

Captain Rohit Motwani slogged it out for a while. But after surviving a leg-before decision because Aushik Srinivas had overstepped, he was bowled by the same bowler. Ankit Bawne (18 batting) now remains the last realistic hope, however dim it is, for Maharashtra on Tuesday.

The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: 276.

Maharashtra — 1st innings: 233.

Tamil Nadu — 2nd innings: Abhinav Mukund c Motwani b Mundhe 0, M. Vijay c Khurana b Darekar 17, B. Aparajith lbw b Bacchav 35, S. Badrinath c & b Darekar 8, K. Dinesh Karthik st. Motwani b Khurana 35, R. Prasanna b Khurana 13, V. Yomahesh c Paradkar b Darekar 8, Malolan Rangarajan c & b Darekar 21, L. Balaji b Khurana 1, J. Kaushik b Khurana 3, R. Aushik Srinivas (not out) 1; Extras (b-2, nb-5): 7; Total (all out in 49.1 overs): 149.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-42, 3-56, 4-77, 5-104, 6-122, 7-126, 8-128, 9-139.

Maharashtra bowling: Samad Fallah 5-1-9-0, Shrikant Mundhe 10-2-38-1, Akshay Darekar 15.1-1-61-4, Satyajit Bacchav 7-2-12-1, Chirag Khurana 12-1-27-4.

Maharashtra — 2nd innings: Harshad Khadiwale b Yomahesh 13, Satyajit Bacchav c & b Balaji 4, Chirag Khurana c Abhinav b Balaji 2, Sangram Atitkar c & b Malolan 17, Nikhil Paradkar b Yomahesh 0, Ankit Bawne (batting) 18, Kedar Jadhav c Karthik b Malolan 0, Rohit Motwani b Aushik 14, Shrikant Mundhe c Aparajith b Aushik 0, Akshay Darekar (batting) 1; Extras (b-3, nb-3): 6; Total (for eight wkts. in 38 overs): 75.

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-9, 3-38, 4-38, 5-44, 6-45, 7-73, 8-73.

Tamil Nadu bowling: Balaji 8-3-13-2, Aushik 9-2-14-2, Malolan 13-3-27-2, Yomahesh 4-2-10-2, Kaushik 2-0-6-0, Aparajith 2-0-2-0.

Keywords: Ranji Trophy

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