Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Kaushik Gandhi ton helps Tamil Nadu draw with Madhya Pradesh

Kaushik Gandhi's ton on the final day helped Tamil Nadu salvage a draw and earn a point while Madhya Pradesh pocketed three points after taking the first-innings lead.

Kaushik Gandhi's brilliant 154 helped Tamil Nadu salvage a draw against Madhya Pradesh.   -  Photo: Special Arrangement, MPCA/Parag Jain

After being overlooked for the first two games, Kaushik Gandhi justified his recall with a brilliant 154 (340b, 16x4, 5x6) to help Tamil Nadu salvage a draw against Madhya Pradesh on the final day of the Group B Ranji Trophy clash here on Saturday. The draw handed TN its first point of the season while MP pocketed three after taking the first-innings lead.

Resuming on 177/4 and trailing by seven runs, TN needed to bat out the day to avoid a third outright defeat. Kaushik alongside skipper B. Aparajith ensured that with a 69-run fifth-wicket partnership. On the stroke of tea when the match was called off, Tamil Nadu was 193 runs ahead finishing on 377/7 in its second innings.

As it happened| Ranji Trophy 2019-20, Day 4, Round 3

In the crucial first session, Aparajith and Kaushik came up with a disciplined batting effort, getting some quick runs with a flurry of boundaries in the first one hour. With the pitch easing out at the Holkar stadium, the MP pacers struggled to trouble the batsmen even with the second new ball.

Aparajith looked good for his 39 which included eight boundaries before Ishwar Pandey had the TN skipper caught behind. MP cpuld have pressed the advantage in the very next over when Kuldeep found the edge of Kaushik, but the wicket-keeper Himanshu Mantri dropped a sitter.

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Kaushik was on 92 and made full use of the reprieve, getting to his century with two boundaries off Pandey, the second of which was a juicy full toss which he flicked to the square-leg boundary. Post lunch Kaushik cut loose pulling Avesh Khan for two glorious sixes to get to his fourth 150 in Ranji Trophy.

He was supported by K Mukunth (52, 119b, 6x4) who played some fine leg-glances and got his maiden first-class fifty in his second match. The duo added 108 runs for the sixth wicket and ensured draw was the only possible result.

Indore: Tamil Nadu 149 & 377/7 in 131.4 overs (N. Jagadeesan 54, M. Kaushik Gandhi 154, K. Mukunth 52 n.o.) drew with Madhya Pradesh 333. MP 3, TN 1.

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