HYDEARABAD: Tamil Nadu demonstrated what separated a champion side from the contenders by coming up with a wonderful, all-round display to dominate the second day of its Ranji Trophy Super League match against Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.
It first restricted Hyderabad to 347 and then scored 189 for one in reply at close of play.
On a pitch which continued to be a batsman’s delight, Tamil Nadu bowlers demonstrated the efficacy of sticking to the basics and making things happen. The result was that Hyderabad, resuming at 269 for four, lost the last six wickets in 28.5 overs scoring just 78.
It started with the diminutive Ahmed Quadri playing all over a full-toss from left-arm medium-pacer Sutheesh in the second over of the day. Backed by wonderful ground fielding, Tamil Nadu sustained the pressure and even southpaw S. Anoop Pai’s decent knock (51, 160 balls, 4x4) was not good enough for the host.
Pai too undid his good work by running out his partner, the well-set M.P. Arjun (25). And once off-spinner Ashwin dived to his right to complete a brilliant return catch to send back Pai, it was only a question of time before Hyderabad folded up.
When Tamil Nadu batted, the fast bowling trio of Alfred Absolom, Arjun and M.A. Khader struggled. There were no signs of complacency in the Tamil Nadu camp and S. Anirudha made the intentions clear by whipping the first ball of the innings from Absolom to the mid-wicket fence and then glancing for another in the same over.
It was a flamboyant innings from the opener (70, 64 balls, 12x4) who repeatedly walked into those flowing cover-drives and invariably executed the cut shot to near perfection. Anirudha, however, could not resist the temptation to go for another off-drive — only to edge it and see Hyderabad captain Anirudh Singh take a smart, diving catch to his left at first slip off Absolom.
That was the only moment of joy for the host as later Abhinav Mukund (66 batting, 187 balls, 11x4) and Arun Karthik (49 batting, 93 balls, 6x4) continued to treat the bowling with contempt.
The scores: Hyderabad — 1st innings: P. Sashank Nag c Badrinath b C. Ganapathy 0, A. Kumar st D. Karthik b A. Mukund 16, Anirudh Singh lbw b R. Ashwin 75, A.T. Rayudu c A. Mukund b A. Srinivas 106, S. Anoop Pai c & b R. Ashwin 51, Ahmed Quadri b R. Sutheesh 34, M.P. Arjun (run out) 25, A. Absolom c R. Ashwin b A. Mukund 0, M.A. Khader c D. Karthik b R. Sutheesh 18, Vishal Sharma (not out) 4, P.M. Sarvesh Kumar (run out) 5; Extras: (b-6, lb-7) 13; Total: (in 118.5 overs) 347.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-31, 3-197, 4-197, 5-271, 6-309, 7-310, 8-336, 9-336.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Ganapathy 16-2-72-1, Jesuraj 19-9-37-0, Mukund 11.5-1-42-2, Sutheesh 24-5-78-2, Satish 3-1-11-0, Ashwin 25-10-46-2, Srinivas 19-5-48-1, Badrinath 1-1-0-0.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: S. Anirudha c A. Singh b A. Absolom 70, A. Mukund (batting) 66, K.B. Arun Karthik (batting) 49; Extras: (lb-2, nb-2) 4; Total: (for one wicket in 57 overs) 189.
Fall of wicket: 1-96.
Hyderabad bowling: Absolom 10-3-32-1, Sarvesh 12-2-44-0, Khader 11-3-29-0, Arjun 7-0-42-0, Vishal 16-3-39-0, Rayudu 1-0-1-0.