Tamil Nadu declared its first innings two short of 700 and then used the remainder of day three in its Ranji Trophy Elite Group B fifth round encounter to wear down Gujarat at the Sardar Patel stadium here on Thursday.
The home team accumulated 293 for four at close, still 405 runs behind with one day left. Spinners Aushik Srinivas and Sunny Gupta were entrusted with the job of prising out the host batsmen and Gupta was the more successful, taking three for 86.
Off-spinner Gupta's prize scalp was Priyank Panchal (80). Gupta, varying his line and experimenting with length, read Panchal's charge and responded quickly by dropping short. Abhinav Mukund at long-on judged the skier well.
Till then Panchal had looked firmly on course for a century. With decisive footwork and good timing, he hit five huge sixes against the slow bowlers. Panchal proved more than equal to the task of facing the new ball and counter-attacked on a batsman-friendly track.
Debutant Manprit Juneja then took over at number six, remaining unbeaten on 84 (156b, 14x4). He handled the spinners patiently, waiting for the ball to grip and turn before launching into shots on both sides of the wicket.
Prathamesh Parmar (45 not out, 125b) underlined Gujarat's wealth of junior talent. The two have put on 138 for the fifth wicket and look hungry for more.
Earlier, skipper Parthiv Patel was snapped up in no time. Kaushik induced the India opener to poke outside the off-stump and Prasanna in the slips completed a low catch. Two days of crouching and stretching behind the sticks had blunted Parthiv's reflexes.
TN skipper Balaji had an attacking field in place — a packed slip cordon for seamers and men hovering around the bat against spinners — but that made little impact.
The scores: Abhinav c Chaudhary b Parikh 220, M. Vijay lbw b Chaudhary 0, S. Badrinath lbw b Chaudhary 102, D. Karthik c Karia b Parikh 135, Vasudeva Das c N. Patel b Karia 105, R. Prasanna b Karia 69, Sunny Gupta c Panchal b Parikh 14, V. Yomahesh (not out) 4, L. Balaji st Barot b Karia 19, J. Kaushik (not out) 5; Extras (b-9, lb-2, nb-1, w-13): 25; Total (181 overs, eight wickets): 698 decl.
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-224, 3-414, 4-504, 5-636, 6-669, 7-870, 8-690.
Gujarat bowling: Chaudhary 36-5-117-2, Makda 19-6-88-0, Dudhat 25-2-123-0, Panchal 18-6-42-0, Parikh 62-2-226-3, Karia 21-2-91-3.
Gujarat — 1st innings: P. Patel c Prasanna b Kaushik 2, P. Panchal c Mukund b Gupta 80, A. Barot c & b Gupta 41, N. Patel c Vasudeva b Gupta 19, P. Parmar (batting) 45, M. Juneja (batting) 84; Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-17): 24; Total (87 overs, four wkts): 293.
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-93, 3-145, 4-155.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Kaushik 13-4-37-1, Balaji 9-1-26-0, Aushik 24-3-84-0, Yomahesh 14-2-44-0, Gupta 24-3-86-3, Abhinav 2-0-11-0, Prasanna 1-1-0-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy