Tamil Nadu makes gain

CHENNAI JAN. 28. Tamil Nadu bowled out Assam for 468 to gain the first innings point on the final day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group B encounter at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Resuming at 304 for five, chasing 509 for the lead, Assam gave the visitor a scare when overnight batsmen Zakaria Zuffri (81) and Sukhwinder Singh (79) took the total to 411. Left-arm spinner Sriram broke the stand when he clean bowled Zuffri. A while later, off-spinner Dhandapani clean bowled skipper Sukhwinder, after which the Assam innings collapsed like a pack of cards.

Tamil Nadu has seven points and jointly leads the group with Punjab, which it meets in its last league match, and Baroda, which has completed its league engagements. Punjab gained first innings honours over Gujarat in Ahmedabad while Baroda did the same against Uttar Pradesh in Varanasi. The top two in each group qualify for the semifinals.

Rain and bad light forced play to commence only at 1.15 p.m. at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi, shattering the hopes of the home side which, after having conceded a slender first lead of five runs to Bengal, was keen on prising out an outright win. The visitor took home one point from the drawn game. Delhi is second in the group with seven points and a match against Hyderabad to go. Bengal has three and takes on Andhra in its last match. Mumbai, which defeated Himachal Pradesh by 10 wickets for the bonus point, leads the group with 12 points. Certain of a place in the semifinals, it locks horns with Rajasthan in its last match.

In the plate championship semifinal, Karnataka, which posted 364 in its first innings, has Vidarbha struggling at 129 for six on day two at Nagpur.

The scores: Elite group A: Delhi 164 & 343 for seven decl. drew with Bengal 169 & 134 for four (Nikhil Haldipur 32, Rohan Gavaskar 32), in Delhi. Points: Bengal 1; Delhi 0.

Himachal Pradesh 254 & 287 (Aashish Kapoor 35, Sandip Sharma 67, Vikram Rathour 82, Rajiv Nayyar 54, Paras Mhambrey three for 51, Sairaj Bahutule three for 71) lost to Mumbai 415 & 130 for no loss (Vinayak Mane 72 not out, Wasim Jaffer 47 not out), in Mumbai. Points: Mumbai 3; HP 0.

Elite group B: Tamil Nadu 508 & 57 for one (S. Ramesh 32 not out) drew with Assam 468 (S. Saikia 63, Kiran Pawar 96, N. Bordoloi 53, Zakaria Zuffri 81, Sukhwinder Singh 79, L. Balaji three for 94, Dhandapani three for 90), in Guwahati. Points: TN 1; Assam 0.

Gujarat 306 & 302 for five (N. Modi 37, Lav Parmar 48, N. Patel 41, Kirat Damani 73 not out, Bhavin Mehta 60 not out, Navdeep Singh three for 112) drew with Punjab 446, in Ahmedabad. Points: Punjab 1; Gujarat 0.

Uttar Pradesh 384 & 55 for one (Saurabh Shukla 33) drew with Baroda 530 for seven decl. (Satyajit Parab 134, Irfan Pathan (Jr) 45, Tushar Arothe 150, Nayan Mongia 111 not out, Rakesh Patel 42 not out, Ratnesh Mishra four for 116), in Varanasi. Points: Baroda 1; UP 0.

Plate championship (semifinals):

Karnataka 364 (Barrington Rowland 124, Vijay Bharadwaj 78, Dodda Ganesh 40 not out, Chandrasekhar Atram three for 71, Preetham Gandhe three for 114) v Vidarbha 129 for six (Amit Deshpande 34, P. Vivek 43, Sunil Joshi three for 25), in Nagpur.

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