Sport

Himachal leaves TN red-faced

The final nail: T. Natarajan is caught at short-leg off Akash Vashisht to signal the end of Tamil Nadu’s innings.

The final nail: T. Natarajan is caught at short-leg off Akash Vashisht to signal the end of Tamil Nadu’s innings.  

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Left-arm spinner Vashisht does the damage by picking up seven wickets

If the Tamil Nadu batsmen couldn’t handle the medium-pacers on day two, they found it difficult to counter spin on day three and fell in a heap. Left-arm spinner Akash Vashisht (7/33) did the damage as the home team crashed to its second straight defeat in the Ranji Trophy, going down by 71 runs to Himachal Pradesh here on Thursday.

Chasing 217 after bowling out Himachal within the first half-hour, TN collapsed from 103 for three to be be bowled out for 145 in under one session as Vashisht spun a web around the hosts in an unchanged third spell of 12.5-1-21-7.

Abhinav goes for a duck

Medium-pacer Vaibhav Arora struck early, trapping Abhinav Mukund for a first-ball duck before Rishi Dhawan sent back R. Sai Kishore, who was sent in at No. 3.

Debutant opener K. Mukunth looked good and was involved in a 40-run partnership with Ganga Sridhar Raju for the third wicket before the latter was dismissed.

Skipper Aparajith (43 not out) looked positive from the start, not allowing the bowlers to dictate terms as he made some quick runs, adding 50 for the fourth wicket with Mukunth.

End change works

After lunch, Vashisht changed ends and immediately found success, removing the well-set Mukunth (48), caught at first slip.

On a wicket that had some turn, Vashisht consistently bowled to a middle-stump line and took the ball away from the right-handers. The TN batsmen looked uncomfortable with his length. Everyone, except the skipper looked too defensive.

N. Jagadeesan, J. Kousik and Shahrukh Khan all fell trying to defend on the front foot, only to offer simple catches to the close-in cordon.

“I analysed that they were not comfortable on the front foot so I kept at it. They were nervous to play me on the front foot,” said Vashisht, who got his maiden five-wicket haul on Thursday.

Inexperienced

Speaking after the match, TN coach D. Vasu wanted the senior players to take more responsibility and guide the youngsters. “Our batting is inexperienced and we have only a few batsmen who can take the opposition on.

“Playing four days and taking pressure is a different game compared to one-day cricket.

“The senior players need to come in and contribute. We have to know the reasons why some of them are playing or not playing. The youngsters will learn from them and they (seniors) need to be there.”

The scores:

Himachal Pradesh — 1st innings: 158.

Tamil Nadu —1st innings: 96.

Himachal Pradesh —2nd innings: Priyanshu Khanduri lbw b Natarajan 0, Prashant Chopra c Mukunth b Ashwin 23, Sumeet Verma run out 36, Ankit Kalsi c Aparajith b Ashwin 8, Nikhil Gangta c Jagadeesan b Sai Kishore 1, Rishi Dhawan c Mukunth b Ashwin 35, Ankush Bains c Mukunth b Sai Kishore 12, Ashish Vashisht b Natarajan 12, Mayank Dagar run out 5, Ankush Bedi c Mukunth b Ashwin 0, Vaibhav Arora (not out) 0; Extras (b-12, lb-10) 22; Total (in 52.2 overs): 154.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-49, 3-73, 4-78, 5-78, 6-110, 7-133, 8-153, 9-153,

Tamil Nadu bowling: Natarajan 10-3-19-2, Vignesh 8-3-22-0, Ashwin 19.2-3-55-4, Kousik 4-1-13-0, Sai Kishore 11-4-23-2.

Tamil Nadu — 2nd innings: K. Mukunth c Chopra b Vashisht 48, Abhinav Mukund lbw b Arora 0, R. Sai Kishore c Chopra b Dhawan 4, V. Ganga Sridhar Raju c Chopra b Dagar 21, B. Aparajith (not out) 43, N. Jagadeesan c Khanduri b Vashisht 0, J. Kousik c Kalsi b Vashisht 14, Shahrukh Khan c Khanduri b Vashisht 1, R. Ashwin c Bains b Vashisht 4, K. Vignesh lbw b Vashisht 1, T Natarajan c Khanduri b Vashisht 0; Extras (nb-2, w-2, lb-1, b-4): 9; Total (in 67.5 overs): 145.

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-13, 3-53, 4-103, 5-103, 6-121, 7-125, 8-137, 9-141.

Himachal Pradesh bowling: Dhawan 7-2-13-1, Arora 7-0-21-1, Bedi 6-1-14-0, Dagar 25-2-45-1, Vashisht 19.5-3-33-7, Chopra 3-0-14-0.

MoM: Akash Vashist (HP).

Himachal won by 71 runs.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:02:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/himachal-leaves-tn-red-faced/article30351366.ece

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