A commandable performance by Madhya Pradesh batsmen in the second essay helped them escape with a draw after being asked to follow-on by Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy group B match on Sunday.
MP who were 221 for seven overnight added 48 more runs before being bowled out for 269. Skipper Devendra Bundela, who held fort on day three, was left stranded on 95. TN bowlers wrapped up the remaining two wickets in the first hour of play to enforce the follow-on. For the visitors, left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas ended up with four wickets.
MP, once again got off to a bad start as Sunil Sam got rid of Satyam Choudhary cheaply. But Jalaj Saxena and Naman Ojha calmed the hosts’ nerves as they stitched together a crucial 75-run partnership for the second wicket.
Aushik Srinivas removed Ojha for 46 and by the time medium pacer Aswin Crist got rid of Saxena for 42, MP were still in a spot of concern with 30 overs to go. Mohnish Mishra was the last hope for the hosts and the right-hander didn’t disappoint as he scored an unbeaten 66. Mishra found company in Rameez Khan (31 no) as their unbroken 86-run partnership took MP to safety.
Scorecard: Tamil Nadu (1st innings): 532-8 decl.
Madhya Pradesh (1st innings): S Choudhary b Aushik Srinivas 21, J Saxena lbw b Sam 21, N Ojha b Balaji 41, M Mishra (run out) 0, D Bundela (not out) 95, U Birla lbw b Aushik Srinivas 10, Rameez Khan c Karthik b Balaji 22, S Baig c Balaji b Aushik Srinivas 4, Anand Rajan (run out) 29, Amarjeet Singh c Karthik b Crist 10, I Pandey b Aushik Srinivas 0, Extras (b 4, lb 1, nb 11) 16, Total (all out) 269.
Bowling: Sam 22-7-60-1, Balaji 20- 8-50-2, Crist 17-4-68-1, Shankar 1-0-9-0, Aushik Srinivas 32.4-12-40-4, Aparajith 5-0-26-0, Mukund 3-0-11-0.
Madhya Pradesh (2nd innings): S Choudhary c Karthik b Sam 1, J Saxena c Karthik b Crist 42, N Ojha c Shankar b Aushik Srinivas 46, M Mishra (not out) 66, Rameez Khan (not out) 31, Extras (lb 3, nb 7) 10, Total (for 3 wickets) 196.
Bowling: Crist 8-3-28-1, Sam 12-2-39-1, Balaji 3-1-10-0, Aushik Srinivas 17-5-68-1, Aparajith 13-1-35-0, Mukund 4-0-13-0.