Ranji Trophy: TN to bat for survival against Madhya Pradesh

TN ended the day on 177/4 after Madhya Pradesh made 333 in its first innings to take a 184-run lead in the Group B Ranji Trophy clash at the Holkar Stadium.

Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman N. Jagadeesan in action against Madhya Pradesh in Indore on Friday.   -  MPCA

 

Despite an improved batting performance from the Tamil Nadu batsman in the second innings, twin strikes from Kuldeep Sen late on the third day put Madhya Pradesh within striking distance of an outright win here on Friday.

TN ended the day on 177/4 after Madhya Pradesh made 333 in its first innings to take a 184-run lead in the Group B Ranji Trophy clash at the Holkar Stadium.

Resuming at 281/7, TN medium-pacers Natarajan, Vignesh and Mohammed once again bowled poorly wasting the new ball by spraying it all around the wicket while conceding easy runs to the host.

MP was eventually dismissed for 333 with Sai Kishore taking two wickets while Natarajan removed the last batsman Kuldeep to claim his third five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Needing to score 185 to make the host bat again, a score TN has not made in its last three innings, Jagadeesan (54) and Kaushik Gandhi (66 n.o.) put on a 106-run partnership for the second wicket.

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Jagadeesan opened the innings after regular opener K. Mukunth hurt his thumb while fielding. It is understood that there is no serious concern and Mukunth will bat on the last day.

The TN wicketkeeper-batsman showed great discipline and was watchful during his knock which included five boundaries.

At the other end, Gandhi looked compact and was in control during his unbeaten knock playing some crisp drives. Kaushik started with boundaries off Avesh Khan through cover and mid-off to get his innings going before pulling spinner Mihir Hirwani over mid-wicket for a six.

Just after tea, Jagadeesan fell to a well-directed short-delivery from Avesh; top-edging a pull straight to the leg-side fielder on the fence.

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In the penultimate over of the day, medium pacer Kuldeep cleaned up Hari Nishanth before trapping Kishore leg-before with a yorker off the very next ball. Kishore was perhaps a tad unlucky as the replays showed it might have missed the leg-stump.

The final day's play will start 15 minutes earlier, and with the new ball available in 13 overs, TN has a task on its hand to save the match.

A lot rides on skipper B. Aparajith and Gandhi to bat through the day as TN seeks its first points of the tournament.

Brief scores: TN 149 & 177/4 (K. Gandhi 66*, N Jagadeesan 54; A Khan 2/49, K Sen 2/19) trail Madhya Pradesh 333 (V Iyer 88, R Khan 87; T Natarajan 5/106) by 7 runs

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