Cricket was drudgery on the final day of the Tamil Nadu-Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy here on Sunday.
The contest had died when Uttar Pradesh went past Tamil Nadu’s poor first-innings score on Saturday but it turned into a mundane exercise on a pleasant day as the players conspired to just go through the process of completing the match, which ended in a draw. The first innings honours for Uttar Pradesh was a fair result since the visiting team displayed a distinct lack of will and wit.
Resuming at 411 for seven, UP displayed no intentions of striving for a positive gain from the match. The UP skipper, Piyush Chawla, was justified in extending the batting this morning since there was little chance of a result on a pitch that rolled into a batting paradise.
The first session dent on the opening day left Tamil Nadu grieving even as UP took stock of its arsenal by blooding a youngster and preparing well for the matches ahead.
Chawla was unrelenting when he took guard today. No bowler made an impact as he belted the bowlers with disdain. The two fours and three sixes that he slammed today further highlighted his batting potential. “I want to be known as an all-rounder,” said the 24-year-old left-hander.
Chawla hit the ball clean and hard in his entertaining innings that culminated at 153 (279 balls, 14x4, 6x6) when he was the eighth wicket to fall, his association with debutant Amit Mishra worth 177 runs.
Mishra contributed a handsome 59 (143 balls, 8x4) before UP declared with a 203-run first innings lead. The 89 runs added on the last day was the sole phase of entertainment for the sparse audience that turned up at the Bhama Shah Stadium.
Tamil Nadu’s response was more of a batting practice against an uninspiring attack, the bowlers obviously conserving their energy, with the game called off by mutual consent of the teams at the start of mandatory overs. Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund helped himself to an unbeaten 56 (149 balls, 7x4).
UP claimed three points and Tamil Nadu one from this drawn encounter. In their next fixtures starting November 28, Tamil Nadu plays Saurashtra at home and UP travels to Jaipur to take on Rajasthan.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: 297.
Uttar Pradesh — 1st innings: Mukul Dagar c Balaji b Srinivas 69, Tanmay Srivastava b Sam 2, Mohammad Kaif c Murali b Balaji 13, Prashant Gupta b Srinivas 73, Parvindar Singh b Srinivas 0, Arish Alam c Karthik b Rangarajan 23, Eklavya Dwivedi c Karthik b Aparajith 70, Piyush Chawla c Vijay Shankar (sub) b Srinivas 153, Amit Mishra b Balaji 59, Imtiaz Ahmed (not out) 15, R. P. Singh (not out) 6; Extras (lb-5, nb-6, w-6): 17; Total (for nine wkts. decl. in 183 overs) 500.
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-40, 3-114, 4-123, 5-162, 6-205, 7-302, 8-479, 9-479.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Sunil Sam 16-3-59-1, L. Balaji 28-8-57-2, Aswin Crist 31-8-79-0, M. Rangarajan 37-7-94-1, Aushik Srinivas 58-18-168-4, Abhinav Mukund 2-0-7-0, Baba Aparajith 8-1-28-1, Prasanna 3-2-3-0.
Tamil Nadu — 2nd innings: Abhinav Mukund (not out) 56, M. Vijay lbw b Chawla 38, S. Badrinath b Chawla 16, Baba Aparajith (not out) 15; Extras (lb-2, nb-1): 3; Total (for two wkts. in 48 overs): 128.
Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-92.
Uttar Pradesh bowling: R. P. Singh 7-0-33-0, Amit Mishra 6-2-20-0, Imtiaz Ahmed 5-0-29-0, Piyush Chawla 11-3-17-2, Arish Alam 13-4-15-0, Parvinder Singh 6-2-12-0.