Ranji Trophy: Indrajith ton rescues TN from spot of bother

Electing to bat, TN found itself in trouble at 32 for four before Indrajith, as he had done in the previous two matches, rose to the occasion with a counter-attacking knock.

R. Sai Kishore and Baba Indrajith rescued TN from 32/4.   -  PTI

B. Indrajith continued his dream run in domestic cricket with his third consecutive century (100, 132b, 11x4, 2x6) against Jharkhand on the first day of the final Ranji Trophy league match here at the Nehru Stadium.

Electing to bat, TN found itself in trouble at 32 for four before Indrajith, as he had done in the previous two matches, rose to the occasion with a counter-attacking knock to help TN finish the day on 256 for seven.

Indrajith had good support at the other end from R. Sai Kishore, who recorded his career-best score of 81 to rescue TN in what is a must-win match. The duo added 171-runs for the fifth wicket partnership.

Earlier, the match got underway 90 minutes late due to dampness in the pitch, and within the first hour, Jharkhand pacer Rahul Shukla blew away the TN top order claiming three wickets in two overs.

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The experienced Shukla troubled the TN top-order with his lively pace and quickly breached the defences of Kaushik Gandhi and B. Aparajith. The other opener Suryapprakash hit a flick straight to Mohammed Nazim, who took a sharp catch at short-leg.

Indrajith, the vice-captain, was the only batter who looked comfortable against the Jharkhand quicks and started his innings with a flick to mid-wicket off Shukla.

Sai Kishore, who has developed a tight defensive technique, was promoted up the order. The left-handed batter repaid the faith as he held firm at one end supporting Indrajith. The duo ensured TN went to lunch without any further trouble.

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As the conditions eased out after lunch, Indrajith unveiled his free-flowing stroke play with his trademark late cuts behind backward point and sweeps against the spinners while he took on the pacers with pull shots over mid-wicket.

Sai Kishore too slowly gained confidence and found success with scoops and paddle sweeps to fine leg.

After getting to his half-century, Indrajith looked tired but still found the boundaries regularly and got to the landmark with a late cut behind point off Shahbaz Nadeem. He was stumped two balls later.

The scoreboard: Tamil Nadu (1st innings): M. Kaushik Gandhi b Shukla 10, L. Suryapprakash c Nazim b Shukla 1, B. Aparajith b Shukla 1, B. Indrajith st. (sub) b Nadeem 100, Vijay Shankar lbw Ashish 11, R. Sai Kishore c Tiwary b Anukul 81, M. Shahrukh Khan c Tiwary b Anukul 20, N. Jagadeesan not out 10, M Mohammed not out 4,

Extras (b-5, lb-6, w-2): 13

Total (for seven wickets in 72 overs): 256

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-16, 3-21, 4-32, 5-203, 6-235, 7-244

Jharkhand Bowling: Ashish 12-4-30-1, Shukla 14-2-57-3, Nadeem 23-2-83-1, Sushant 6-0-28-0, Utkarsh 7-1-18-0, Anukul 10-4-29-2

Toss: TN.

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