Cricket

Ranji Trophy | Ashwin has Himachal in a spin

Experience counts: R. Aswhin picked up five wickets to help Tamil Nadu bowl out Himachal Pradesh cheaply.

Experience counts: R. Aswhin picked up five wickets to help Tamil Nadu bowl out Himachal Pradesh cheaply.   | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan

Sai Kishore chips in with three wickets as the visitors are bowled out for 158

R. Ashwin bowled Tamil Nadu to a strong position with a brilliant five-wicket haul in an unchanged spell of 29 overs to dismiss Himachal Pradesh for just 158 on the first day in the second round Elite Group-B Ranji Trophy match at the NPR College grounds here on Tuesday.

Prashant goes early

Opting to bowl, TN pacers Vignesh and Natarajan started things off tightly with the former accounting for opener Prashant Chopra.

Skipper B. Aparajith — who is leading the side after Vijay Shankar was ruled out due to wrist pain — brought Ashwin into the attack in the 15th over of the innings.

TN made five changes to the side that lost to Karnataka with opener K. Mukunth making his debut.

Early strike

The India off-spinner struck with his second ball when he had opener Priyanshu Khanduri caught at short-leg.

There was turn for the spinners which was enough for Ashwin and Sai Kishore to put HP under pressure as they bowled with attacking fields; four catches went to short-leg and leg slip fielders.

Just before lunch, Ashwin picked up two wickets in quick succession to have the visitors struggling at 63 for five. The 33-year-old was relentless, hardly giving any loose deliveries as the batsmen struggled to rotate the strike. Himachal skipper Ankit Kalsi, in particular, looked clueless scoring just eight off 44 deliveries he faced off Ashwin before the left-hander misread a straighter one by not offering a shot, only to see his stumps rattled.

Immediately after lunch, Sai Kishore and Ashwin picked up wickets off successive overs before Mayank Dagar (33) and Akash Vashisht (35) added 53 runs for the eighth wicket to help HP go past 150.

The duo played sensibly, running hard between the wickets, and trying to take on the bowlers. Vashisht even played a couple of sweep shots to the leg-side boundary.

With overcast conditions, Vignesh — who bowled without much luck in the morning — could have been brought back earlier to knock off the tailenders. The pacer eventually broke the partnership dismissing Dagar.

In reply, Tamil Nadu only played three overs before bad light forced an early stop half an hour before schedule. “Ashwin bowled brilliantly and held one end up. However, I feel after reducing them to 76 for seven, we should have restricted them to about 120,” said TN coach D. Vasu.

The scores:

Himachal Pradesh — 1st innings: Priyanshu Khanduri c Mukunth b Ashwin 15, Prashant Chopra c Ganga Sridhar b Vignesh 4, Sumeet Verma c Mukunth b Sai Kishore 30, Ankit Kalsi b Ashwin 11, Nikhil Gangta c Ganga Sridhar b Ashwin 0, Rishi Dhawan c Aparajith b Sai Kishore 2, Ankush Bains c Ganga Sridhar b Ashwin 9, Akash Vashisht c (sub) Mohammed b Sai Kishore 35, Mayank Dagar c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 33, Ankush Bedi lbw b Ashwin 4, Vaibhav Arora (not out) 2; Extras (nb-2, b-7, lb-4): 13; Total (in 71.4): 158.

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-37, 3-61, 4-62, 5-63, 6-74, 7-76, 8-129, 9-142.

Tamil Nadu bowling: Natarajan 7-4-15-0, Vignesh 14-1-42-2, Ashwin 29-6-65-5, Kousik 5-4-3-0, Sai Kishore 16.4-8-22-3.

Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Abhinav Mukund (batting) 6, K. Mukunth (batting) 2; Total (for no loss in three overs): 8.

HP bowling: Dagar 2-0-8-0, Bedi 1-1-0-0.

Toss: TN.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:33:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ranji-trophy-ashwin-has-himachal-in-a-spin/article30332163.ece

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