Assam kept alive its hopes of salvaging two points from its Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘A' clash against Tamil Nadu here on Wednesday, with Ranjeet Mali and Sridharan Sriram leading a feisty day three performance.
Tamil Nadu, on 300 for four overnight, lost five wickets for 46 before declaring with a lead of 162. Both overnight batsmen fell at 308 — R. Sathish hadn't added to his 74 when Mali had him caught at gully, while S. Anirudha was leg before to Sujay Tarafdar five runs short of his second first class century.
Three more wickets fell in quick time before skipper Dinesh Karthik declared. Mali finished with four for 73.
Assam opener Parvez Aziz could do nothing about a Ganapathy delivery that reared at him from a length, and edged a catch to the keeper. Left-handers Dhiraj Jadhav and Sriram negotiated a tricky pre-lunch spell from Ganapathy and L. Balaji with great skill. At lunch, Assam was 14 for one from 10 overs.
Sriram launched a calculated counterattack in the second session, picking off debutant Sunil Sam for three boundaries in two overs and taking the 17-year-old Aushik Srinivas for 13 and 10 in successive overs.
Ashwin finally struck after tea, Jadhav skying him to mid-off. By then, he had added 112 with Sriram in 42.5 overs. Balaji then returned and removed Amol Muzumdar and Deepak Sharma.
Sriram withdrew into his shell and ended the day on 87 (170b, 13x4), with Tarjinder Singh keeping him company in a 41-run fifth-wicket stand.
At stumps, Assam was three runs short of making the host bat again.
The scores: Assam — 1st innings: 184.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund c Muzumdar b Konwar 22, S. Anirudha lbw b Tarafdar 95, K.B. Arun Karthik b Konwar 15, S. Badrinath lbw b Tarjinder 83, D. Karthik c Saikia b Mali 4, R. Sathish c Tarjinder b Mali 74, R. Ashwin c Tarjinder b Mali 4, C. Ganapathy b Mali 24, L. Balaji c Saikia b Goswami 5, Sunil Sam (not out) 0; Extras (b-10, lb-3, nb-5, w-2): 20. Total (for nine wickets decl. in 120.1 overs): 346.
Fall of wickets: 1-52, 2-94, 3-146, 4-281, 5-308, 6-308, 7-317, 8-336, 9-346.
Assam bowling: Tarafdar 22-5-60-1, Mali 28.1-9-73-4, Goswami 17-3-57-1, Konwar 31-5-91-2, Sriram 14-2-38-0, Tarjinder 6-1-13-1, Aziz 2-1-1-0.
Assam — 2nd innings: D. Jadhav c Ganapathy b Ashwin 38, P. Aziz c D. Karthik b Ganapathy 2, S. Sriram (batting) 87, A. Muzumdar lbw b Balaji 2, Deepak Sharma c Abhinav b Balaji 2, Tarjinder Singh (batting) 23; Extras (lb-2, nb-2, w-1): 5. Total (for four wickets in 64 overs): 159.
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-114, 3-116, 4-118.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Balaji 10-3-14-2, Ganapathy 10-4-22-1, Ashwin 23-4-44-1, Sam 6-2-22-0, Aushik Srinivas 14-4-48-0, Abhinav 1-0-7-0 .