CHENNAI: City won the C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer Shield on Wednesday thanks to a splendid 113-run seventh-wicket partnership between C. Ganapathy (97) and M. Prabhu (52) that helped secure the first innings lead against Combined Districts.
The match was tantalisingly poised after Tuesday’s play at the CPT-IP ground: with the possibility of a result within three days appearing remote, the battle for the Shield had reduced to a first innings shoot-out.
City resumed on 235 for six, requiring a further 46 on day three to surpass the Districts total. Districts captain V. Subramania Siva threw the second new ball to R. Suthesh, who had taken four wickets on the second day with his left-arm seamers, to commence a tense period that proved determining.
With the track offering little deviation off the seam, Ganapathy and Prabhu batted soundly against the shiny cherry, belying the fact that both make the side primarily for their abilities with the ball.
Suthesh strove manfully, raising lift on occasion from an unresponsive surface. But the lack of a man either at short-leg or square-leg allowed the batsmen to score off the short ball with minimal risk.
There was some sparkling strokeplay amidst the secure defending and busy running. Both men cover-drove sweetly off the front-foot. Ganapathy played two hook shots that merit mention, while Prabhu deposited off-spinner P. Sakthi beyond the boundary.
Districts created just one chance before City took the lead. With City on 256 for six in the 84th over, Rajinikanth, the other left-arm seamer in the side, enticed Ganapathy into a lazy stroke at a delivery outside off-stump. The edge flew low to the slip cordon, but X. Thalaivan Sargunam couldn’t hang on.
The match, however, had ceased being a contest before Ganapathy’s nervy nineties, and play was called off at tea.
The scores: Combined Districts 280 and 80 for two in 24 overs drew with City 334 in 115.4 overs (M. Vijay 93, R. Ashwin 45, C. Ganapathy 97, M. Prabhu 52, R. Suthesh four for 92). — Special Correspondent