Tamil Nadu secured the first innings lead in the Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match at Moti Bagh, but its attempt to force a win was thwarted by Baroda on day three. At stumps on Monday, Baroda, in the second innings, was on 116 for four from 66 overs, ahead by 94.
With a day’s cricket to be played, Tamil Nadu will continue to push, but victory won’t come easy. Scoring quickly has been difficult here — a chase, if it comes to that, at anything faster than three runs an over will require exceptional batting. Tamil Nadu has R. Prasanna (75, 213b, 11x4) and Malolan Rangarajan (20 n.o.) to thank for its first innings lead.
Resuming on 166 for six, pursuing Baroda’s 208, the touring side lost J. Kaushik and V. Yomahesh with the addition of just 16 runs. But Malolan played boldly, hooking a thrilling six that brought his side to within a stroke of the lead. The left-handed Prasanna, who batted with assurance in conditions that helped the seamers, survived a close ‘lbw’ appeal, with the lead yet to be taken.
The ninth-wicket pair eventually saw their team past the mark. Baroda looked secure on 91 for one, but like the first two days, the ball began moving halfway into the final session. Medium-pacer Kaushik, who had dropped Aditya Waghmode off Sunil Sam when the batsman was on 18, got his man caught in the slips for 39.
He followed that with Abhimanyu Chauhan’s wicket, caught behind, and when Sam trapped Ketan Panchal in front, Baroda had slipped to 105 for four.
Tamil Nadu had a worrying moment during the last over of the day when S. Badrinath suffered a back spasm while fielding and had to be helped off the field. He received medical attention and his fitness will be monitored by the team management.
The scores: Baroda — 1st innings: 208.
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 c Panchal b Gagandeep 75, Vijay Shankar b Vahora 4, J. Kaushik lbw b Vahora 2, V. Yomahesh lbw Gagandeep 10, Malolan (not out) 20, S. Sam b Panchal 13; Extras (lb-7, w-3): 10; Total (in 102.3 overs): 230.
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-11, 3-18, 4-52, 5-150, 6-165, 7-167, 8-182, 9-209.
Baroda bowling: Vahora 29-15-36-4, Vohra 18-2-54-2, Gagandeep 24-6-69-2, Panchal 22.3-12-33-2, Bhatt 8-0-22-0, Chauhan 1-0-9-0.
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 (batting) 18, Pinal Shah (batting) 1; Extras (b-6, lb-4, nb-1 w-6): 17; Total (for four wkts. in 66 overs): 116.
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-91, 3-92, 4-105.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Kaushik 16-8-23-3, Sam 18-8-26-1, Malolan 12-8-12-0, Vijay Shankar 4-1-19-0, Yomahesh 11-3-25-0, Prasanna 5-4-1-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy Group ‘B’ match