Ranji Trophy: Fading light denies Tamil Nadu win vs Hyderabad

Tamil Nadu were 108 for 1 in 7 overs in their second essay when the play was called off. Nevertheless, it was a morale-boosting victory for the visitors.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

CHENNAI It was a case of so near yet so far as bad light denied Tamil Nadu of an excellent chance to register an outright win as their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad ended in a draw, with the visitors taking the first innings honours at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Friday.

Set a stiff target of 144 in a maximum of 11 overs under fading light, Tamil Nadu rose to the challenge with both Sai Sudharsan (42) and N Jagadeesan (60 n.o.) going hammer and tongs on the Hyderabad attack. Both competed with each other in churning out sixes which came from the meat of the blade. Sai Sudharsan showed that he could adapt to any situation and displayed his prowess in the calculated assault.

Jagadeesan initially could not connect the ball as the Hyderabad bowlers Kartikeya and Ravi Teja were bowling a negative line aiming at the fifth stump. Quickly Jagadeesan changed his position and stance and runs flowed effortlessly.

Tamil Nadu were 108 for 1 in 7 overs in their second essay when the play was called off. Nevertheless, it was a morale-boosting victory for the visitors. Earlier, Hyderabad were all out for 258 in their second essay. Hyderabad skipper Tanmay Agarwal (46), T Thyagarajan (69) and Rohit Rayudu (45) made useful contributions.

Tamil Nadu bowlers in the first session did not get a wicket. By lunch, they had two in their kitty. Post lunch Sai Kishore (5/101) was in his element and with his guile picked up the wickets Thiyagarajan, Jaweed, the dangerous Mickil Jaiswal and Anikeeth Reddy.

After this good show, the Tamil Nadu bowlers let the last wicket pair of Prateek Reddy (24 off 57b) and Punnaiah (0 off 19 balls) play eight overs and this proved costly as they lost valuable time to press for a win.

"Pleased with the way our openers Sai Sudharsan and Jagadeesan chased the target and went for a win. It showed their positive approach and also their ability to adapt as the situation was like a T10 match. Had bad light not resulted in the close of play, we could have won,'' said M Venkataramana, chief coach of the Tamil Nadu team.

''In hindsight had we not allowed the last wicket pair of Prateek Reddy and Punnaiah to play eight overs we could have won the game,'' added the former India spinner. During Hyderabad's second innings Aswin Crist and Vijay Shankar were underbowled. Aswin bowled just seven overs, while Vijay Shankar just three. L Vignesh was a tad expensive and sprayed a lot toward the end of Hyderabad second innings.

''I think at that time Sandeep Warrier, Sai Kishore and Vignesh were doing well so that's why Aswin and Vijay did not get to bowl much. It (bowling changes) was just based on the situation and nothing else,'' clarified Venkataramana.

Tamil Nadu lost almost 20 overs on the first day due to bad light and also they let leggie Mickil Jaiswal score a ton. Many who followed the game believed that Tamil Nadu missed the services of a specialist fifth bowler.

''Yes on the first day we lost quite a few overs and also allowed Jaiswal to score a ton. We need to look into ways to wrap up the lower middle order soon. We will certainly be working on this. As far as the fifth bowler is concerned, it is easy to say (comment) after the match is over. We had Vijay Shankar and B Aparajith who can bowl really well. So this combination was when we had to pick the side under overcast conditions. I am happy with the way we fought, had we got a little more time and played those four overs left, we would have won. We will carry the positives into the next game,'' said an optimistic Venkataramana.

Tamil Nadu got three points from this game, while Hyderabad one.

Brief scores: Hyderabad 395 all out in 115 ovs and 258 in 85 ovs (Tanmay Agarwal 46, T Thyagarajan 69, Rohit Rayudu 45, Sai Kishore 5/101) drew with Tamil Nadu 510/4 in 111.5 ovs and 108 for 1 in 7 ovs (Sai Sudharsan 42, N Jagadeesan 60 n.o).

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