Ranji Quarterfinals: Tamil Nadu wins in two days

At the end of a heap of wickets – as many as 19 of them fell on Saturday – Tamil Nadu overcame Karnataka by seven wickets to enter the semifinals. An elegant K. L. Rahul, who scored 77, was the only batsman from Karnataka to show some resistance; his India team-mate Karun Nair battled abdominal pain to come out to bat, scoring 12.

So much can happen in a day’s play; particularly on the greenish track here at the VDCA Stadium. While there was assistance for pacemen, the collapses on the second day of the quarterfinal between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also mirrored the falling standards of domestic batting in conditions favouring bowlers.

>Scorecard

Between the two sides, Tamil Nadu fared better. Eventually, Abhinav Mukund’s men were deserving winners. At the end of a heap of wickets – as many as 19 of them fell on Saturday – Tamil Nadu overcame Karnataka by seven wickets to enter the semifinals.

Chasing 87 to win, Tamil Nadu powered by Dinesh Karthik’s brisk 30-ball 41 (5x4, 2x6), was home amidst fading light.

>Read: Tamil Nadu revels in 'satisfying victory'

The match was swung Tamil Nadu’s way by pacemen K. Vignesh and T. Natarajan who grabbed seven wickets between them bowling with heart and skill in the afternoon.

After conceding a lead of 64, the strong Karnataka batting was bundled out for 150. Only K. L. Rahul showed the right methods to bat here blending sound defence with emphatic strokeplay.

The elegant Rahul (77, 94b, 13x4) was all class. He was balanced in his stance, and used his left eye and left shoulder to pick the line of the ball. He also shortened his back-lift to cope with the conditions, moved his feet, and was side-on when he met the ball.

He was reprieved by ‘keeper Karthik off Player of the Match Ashwin Crist on 69. With his high-arm action and two-way movement, Crist impressed again.

Rahul was eventually prised out by left-armer Natarajan who angled one across from over the wicket.

For a left-armer, Natarajan also got his body alignment right to take the ball away from the right hander from round the wicket as well.

Vignesh tended to pitch a tad short in first session but found his length during a fine afternoon spell.

He also got closer to his off-stump while delivering to zero in on the ideal line. Vignesh was now moving the ball from the off-stump rather than pitch outside off and waste his deliveries and movement.

The right area to land the sphere on this track was around good length on the off. Given the juice in the pitch, the batsmen had to cope with both bounce and movement.

Importantly, Vignesh took out Manish Pandey with a well-directed short-pitched delivery that seemed to follow the batsman.

Karun Nair, battling abdominal pain, displayed immense commitment to come out and bat but Vignesh got one to jag away and find the edge.

The Karnataka batting caved in. The ill-timed and thoughtless run-outs did not help matters either.

In the morning, Tamil Nadu was dismissed for 152 with pacemen Vinay Kumar and S. Arvind bowling zestfully.

Karthik was the first to go, edging Vinay to ‘keeper Gautam. By evening, he was back again hitting the winning runs. It was that sort of a day!