Despite some resolute effort from lower-order batters Aswin Crist (57) and S. Ajith Ram (55), Tamil Nadu XI could not avoid a big defeat as it went down by an innings and four runs to Bangladesh XI on the final day of play here at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
Resuming at 133 for six and needing to score another 123 to make the visitors bat again, TN XI suffered an early blow when overnight batter Adithya Ganesh (48) was caught behind, two runs short of what would have been a well-deserved half-century.
Crist, who joined Ajith Ram, however, ensured the home team would not go down without a fight as they stitched together a 102-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
While Crist played some neatly timed drives to collect a few boundaries, at the other end the left-handed Ajith Ram took on the left-arm spinner Taijul Islam hitting him for two sixes.
The duo were hardly troubled and it was against the run of play the partnership was broken when Ajith Ram slipped while trying to abort a single and couldn’t get back in time to the striker’s end.
Taijul Islam, who took three wickets on the third day, then removed the last two batters to complete a five-wicket haul as the visitors wrapped up things before lunch was taken.
It was the perfect game for skipper Mohammad Mithun as he played a key role in setting up the win with his unbeaten 156 before his bowlers completed the task. On his aggressive decision to enforce the follow-on, Mithun said, “even though it is an unofficial match, we are here to play competitive cricket, there is pride at stake and everyone did their job well.”
For TN XI, it was a huge learning experience and skipper B. Indrajith said, “it was definitely a step up for us playing against bowlers who are very quick and skilful in moving the ball. It is not something we are used to regularly and it is good preparation for us for the upcoming season.”
The scores: Bangladesh XI 349/9 decl. bt Tamil Nadu XI 93 & 252 in 84.2 overs (f/o) (Aswin Crist 57, S. Ajith Ram 55, Adithya Ganesh 48, Taijul Islam 5/96). Bangladesh XI won by an innings and four runs.