Cricket

Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | TN’s hopes rest on Karthik’s shoulders

Using the long handle: Karnataka’s K. Gowtham scored 51 off 39 balls, which included four boundaries and four sixes.

Using the long handle: Karnataka’s K. Gowtham scored 51 off 39 balls, which included four boundaries and four sixes.  

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After a whirlwind knock, Gowtham picks up three crucial wickets

The contest is on a razor’s edge. One weighty partnership can give Tamil Nadu the lead. Or a brace of wickets may swing things in Karnataka’s favour.

It’s crunch time at the serene NPR ground. Replying to Karnataka’s first innings score of 336, Tamil Nadu was 165 for four when bad light ended play on the second day of the Ranji Trophy match here on Tuesday.

Not easy to make runs

Much of Tamil Nadu’s hopes depend on the battling Dinesh Karthik, who has faced 71 deliveries for his unbeaten 23. The pitch has slowed down, the ball has started to grip, and run-making is not easy.

The day was dominated by the free-spirited K. Gowtham who followed his whirlwind 51 (39b, 4x4, 4x6) picking up three crucial wickets with his off-spin.

Karnataka’s plan was simple. It would choke the runs with the pacemen doing the holding job from one end and the lanky Gowtham would seek wickets from the other with his turn, bounce and use of crease.

Vijay Shankar shocked

Gowtham trapped M. Vijay leg-before with a delivery that spun back, had southpaw Abhinav Mukund caught behind with one that turned away and won a contentious lbw decision over a shell-shocked Vijay Shankar, who was struck well above his knee.

Vijay and Mukund, the experienced right-left opening pair, built a platform for Tamil Nadu putting on 81 off 145 balls.

Vijay (32) handled the Karnataka pace attack, led by Ronit More, with timing, footwork and balance.

The efficient Mukund whipped More to the fence and then off-drove him gloriously. Both openers promised more.

And the tenacious B. Aparajith (37, 86b, 3x4, 1x6), who put a price on his wicket, was caught behind by a mean away seamer off More.

Baffling tactics

Tamil Nadu’s tactics in the morning were baffling. Why was the side’s No. 1 bowler R. Ashwin, who had got the sphere to turn and bounce on day one, brought in only in the 15th over of the day after Karnataka had added valuable runs.

And R. Ashwin, adept in bowling with the new ball, should have operated from the media box end right from the start in a pace-spin combination with the zestful K. Vignesh, who had Shreyas Gopal (35) caught behind by a diving ’keeper N. Jagadeesan in the morning.

Once Ashwin was brought on, he ended the 52-run eighth-wicket partnership between David Mathias (26) — caught at short-leg by one that had extra bounce — and Gowtham.

He consumed More with a delivery that straightened and ended Gowtham’s stay — he was blazing away with sixes — with a change in length.

Intensity is not in short supply in this face-off.

The scores:

Karnataka — 1st innings: Mayank Agarwal c Aparajith b Siddharth 43, D. Nischal b Vignesh 4, Devdutt Padikkal c sub (Mukunth) b Aparajith 78, Karun Nair (run out) 8, Pavan Deshpande c Jagadeeshan b Ashwin 65, Shreyas Gopal c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 35, B.R. Sharath b Siddharth 10, David Mathias c sub (Mukunth) b R. Ashwin 26, K. Gowtham b Vijay b R. Ashwin 51, Ronit More c Jagadeesan b R. Ashwin 0; V. Koushik (not out) 0; Extras (b-7, lb-5, nb-2, w-2): 16. Total (in 110.4 overs): 336.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-71, 3-88, 4-204, 5-222, 6-255, 7-265, 8-317, 9-317.

Tamil Nadu bowling: Vijay Shankar 12-6-25-0, K. Vignesh 18-5-55-2, R. Ashwin 33.4-10-79-4, Sai Kishore 15-2-60-0, M. Siddharth 16-4-47-2, Aparajith 8-1-24-1, M. Ashwin 8-0-34-0.

Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund c Sharath b Gowtham 47, M. Vijay lbw b Gowtham 32, B. Aparajith c Sharath b More 37, Vijay Shankar lbw b Gowtham 12, Dinesh Karthik (batting) 23, N. Jagadeesan (batting) 6; Extras (b-2, lb-4, nb-1, w-1): 8, Total (for four wickets in 58 overs): 165.

Fall of wickets: 1-81, 2-82, 3-106, 4-151.

Karnataka bowling: More 14-2-40-1, V. Koushik 11-3-22-0, Mathias 8-2-14-0, Gowtham 20-4-61-3, Shreyas Gopal 5-0-22-0.

Other Ranji scorecard

Group A:

Andhra 211 vs Vidarbha 268/4 in 97 overs (Ganesh Satish 113 batting, Mohit Kale 82). 

Hyderabad 233 vs Gujarat 295/9 in 83.2 overs (Manprit Juneja 94, Rujul Bhatt 65, Mehdi Hassan 4/78). 

Kerala 525/9 decl. in 165 overs (P. Rahul 97, Robin Uthappa 102, Sachin Baby 155, Salman Nizar 77) vs Delhi 23/2 in 12.5 overs. 

Rajasthan 257 in 79.4 overs (Mahipal Lomror 60, Ashok Menaria 60, Salman Khan 53, Siddarth Kaul 4/69) vs Punjab 290/6 in 84 overs (Gurkeerat Mann 68, Mandeep Singh 122, Anmol Malhotra 68 batting). 

Group B:

Mumbai 431 in 106.4 overs (Prithvi Shaw 66, Ajinkya Rahane 79, Shams Mulani 89, Shardul Thakur 64) vs Baroda 301/9 in 69 overs (Kedar Devdhar 154 batting, Vishnu Solanki 48, Shams Mulani 5/99). 

Himachal 120 & 182 in 38.3 overs (Rishi Dhawan 53, Ankush Bains 74, Jaydev Unadkat 6/51) vs Saurashtra 141 in 36.2 overs (Snell Patel 42, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 47, Vaibhav Arora 6/48) & 96/3 in 28 overs (Harvik Desai 46). 

Karnataka 336 in 110.4 overs (Mayank Agarwal 43, Devdutt Padikkal 78, Pavan Deshpande 65, K. Gowtham 51, R. Ashwin 4/79) vs Tamil Nadu 165/4 in 58 overs (Abhinav Mukund 47). 

Railways 253 in 85.3 overs (Arindam Ghosh 42, Navneet Virk 58, Dinesh Mor 91 n.o., Yash Dayal 5/48) & 58/5 in 18 overs vs Uttar Pradesh 175 in 53.1 overs (Almas Shaukat 92 n.o., Amit Mishra 4/52, Himanshu Sangwan 4/71). 

Group C:

Services 124 & 130/4 in 45 overs vs Assam 162 in 64.2 overs (Riyan Parag 66, Diwesh Pathania 5/58). 

Chhattisgarh 134 & 45/1 in 17 overs vs Odisha 215/9 in 76.4 overs (Sujit Lenka 56, Puneet Datey 4/58). 

Haryana 401 in 124.2 overs (Shubham Rohilla 142, Shivam Chauhan 117, Sumit Kumar 40, Anupam Sanklecha 4/82) vs Maharashtra 88/4 in 44 overs. 

Tripura 289 in 81.2 overs (Pratyush Singh 40, Milind Kumar 59, Harmeet Singh 56) vs Jharkhand 136 in 43 overs (Virat Singh 47, Rana Dutta 4/42) & 91/2 in 20 overs (Nazim Siddiqui 40). 

Jammu & Kashmir 182 & 304 in 65.4 overs (Abdul Samad 60, Fazil Rashid 73 n.o., Ram Dayal 41, Rahil Shah 5/74) vs Uttarakhand 84 in 31 overs (Mohammed Mudhasir 5/13, Ram Dayal 4/28) & 18/3 in 9 overs. 

Plate:

Bihar 173 & 61/4 in 27 overs vs Pondicherry 300 in 79.3 overs (S. Anand 41, S. Karthik 41, Paras Dogra 70, Ashith Rajiv 50, Vivek Kumar 5/51, Ashutosh Aman 4/84). 

Arunachal Pradesh 147 & 164/6 in 45 overs (Rahul Dalal 75 batting) vs Chandigarh 503/2 decl. in 76 overs (Arslan Khan 233 n.o., Shivam Bhambri 105, Manan Vohra 124). 

Sikkim 136 & 22/2 in 8 overs vs Goa 436/6 decl. in 105.4 overs (Smit Patel 53, Amit Verma 113, Snehal Kauthankar 134, Suyash Prabhudessai 91).

Mizoram 65 & 290 in 75.1 overs (Lalhruaizela 60, K.B. Pawan 124) vs Manipur 289 in 80.1 overs (Chingangbam Singh 89, Rex Singh 65, Bobby Zothansanga 5/92, K. Lalhmingmawia 4/47).

Meghalaya 285 in 96.5 overs (Puneet Bisht 125, Sanjay Yadav 61, Imliwati Lemtur 7/53) & 89/9 in 33 overs (Imliwati Lemtur 6/32) vs Nagaland 136 in 45.1 overs (Sanjay Yadav 9/52). 

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:56:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ranji-trophy-2019-20-tns-hopes-rest-on-karthiks-shoulders/article30269421.ece

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