CRICKET / Anirudha comes up with a century of character; Mishra bags five wkts.
NEW DELHI: Delhi has a long way to go before it can think of charting any further journey in the Ranji Trophy this season. Tamil Nadu, with another clinical performance show, dominated the second day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals, thanks to the batsmen and the bowlers doing their jobs well. Unless the home middle order pulls it off, it could put a halt to Delhi’s campaign.
S. Anirudha laid the foundation with his maiden Ranji Trophy century and carried Tamil Nadu — 278 for four overnight — to 463. The bowlers then complemented the batsmen by removing the Delhi openers cheaply as the home side finished the day at 69 for two.
The two blows pushed Delhi on the backfoot as the team’s hopes rested on Aakash Chopra and Shikhar Dhawan. The dismissals came off regular deliveries as Chopra played across and Dhawan followed the wrong line.
Delhi desperately needed a sound start but a wicket each by off-spinner R. Ashwin and left-arm seamer R. Sutheesh only confirmed Tamil Nadu’s better preparation and reading of the situation.
Anirudha gave firm indications of the Tamil Nadu camp’s mindset. He was assigned a specific role and he played it to perfection with a century of character.
It came at a time when his team needed a quality performance in the middle-order.
Anirudha, curbing his flair to play strokes, demonstrated the right approach on a pitch that needed exemplary discipline.
His 202-ball essay with 13 fours ended when he became the sixth batsmen out.
His dismissal triggered a collapse even as C. Ganapathy chipped in with a useful 41 off 94 balls.
“The ball kept slow and low but it was batting pitch. The ball was coming on nicely. It is only my first century and one of the best knocks I have played in my short career.
“We have a good score and would be looking to attack on day three,” said Anirudha, who received a pat from his father, K. Srikkanth, who was present at the venue for a short while.
The saving grace for Delhi was the rousing show by left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra, who registered a five-wicket haul in only his second match.
“I had said before the match he is a good bowler and I am glad he has proved me right. He has the heart of a spinner and it is a good sign for Delhi. We have found a good spinner,” said Delhi skipper Rajat Bhatia on the young bowler.
The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: A. Mukund b Vikas Mishra 73, M. Vijay c Bisht b Manhas 51, K.B. Arun Karthik c Bisht b Sangwan 78, S. Badrinath c Narwal b Vikas Mishra 15, S. Anirudha c Bhatia b Vikas Mishra 113, R. Ashwin c Bisht b Vikas Mishra 13, C. Ganapathy b Vikas Mishra 41, U. Sushil c Bisht b Sangwan 6, L. Balaji b Awana 42, R. Sutheesh b Sangwan 0, R. Aushik Srinivas (not out) 4; Extras (b-3, lb-15, nb-9): 27; Total (in 147.4overs): 463.
Fall of wickets: 1-110, 2-151, 3-175, 4-266, 5-304, 6-403, 7-406, 8-421, 9-421.
Delhi bowling: Sangwan 32-4-107-3, Narwal 25-4-88-0, Awana 23.4-4-81-1, Vikas Mishra 43-13-112-5, Bhatia 9-4-21-0, Manhas 7-2-17-1, Aditya Jain 8-0-19-0.
Delhi — 1st innings: A. Chopra lbw b Ashwin 10, S. Dhawan b Sutheesh 17, A. Jain (batting) 16, M. Manhas (batting) 16; Extras (nb-1, lb-9): 10; Total (for two wkts. in 27 overs): 69.
Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-33.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Ganapathy 4-2-10-0, Balaji 7-1-24-0, Ashwin 8-4-6-1, Sutheesh 6-1-20-1, Aushik 2-2-0-0.