Ranji Trophy 2019-20: TN bundled out for 96 in reply to Himachal's 158

Tamil Nadu produced a poor batting display and found itself on the back foot after being shot out for 96, in reply to Himachal Pradesh’s first innings score of 158.

Himachal Pradesh's Sumeet Verma plays a shot in a Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu.   -  G. KARTHIKEYAN

Tamil Nadu produced a poor batting display and found itself on the back foot after being shot out for just 96, in reply to Himachal Pradesh’s first innings score of 158 in a Group B Ranji Trophy clash here at the NPR College grounds on Wednesday.

At stumps on day two, Himachal was on 133/7 in its second innings and a lead of 195 runs.

Resuming at 8/0, the TN top order failed spectacularly with some poor shot selection against a disciplined bowling effort from Himachal medium pacers - Vaibhav Arora (3/21) and Rishi Dhawan (2/32) - as the host was reduced to 38 for 5 within an hour.

Only R. Ashwin showed a fight playing sensibly and top-scored with 24 with J. Kousik making 21.

Arora removed opener Abhinav Mukund in the first over of the day before Dhawan accounted for the other opener K. Mukunth, both caught at slip.

Read: Day 2 highlights

Arora then had B. Aparajith caught at backward point going for an expansive drive before removing Shahrukh Khan with a delivery that swung just enough away from the right-hander to hit the off-stump.

Ganga Sridhar Raju then played a very poor shot trying to go after left-arm spinner Akash Vashisht by stepping down and was caught at mid-on. It was a smart piece of bowling as he adjusted his length by pulling it back, forcing the batsman to reach for the delivery and mistiming it.

Ashwin and Kousik added 30 runs for the seventh-wicket before the latter tried to go for a non-existent leg-bye and was run out after he was sent back.

In its second innings, Sumeet Verma made a crucial 36 as Himachal made a good start but lost its way from 73-2 to 78-5 before Dhawan (27 n.o.) hit a few boundaries to take the score past 100.

TN's effort on the field too was scratchy after Dhawan was dropped on 12 by Vignesh off Sai Kishore, while opener Prashant Chopra was dropped twice - by Raju on 10 off Ashwin and by Aparajith on 12 off Kousik.

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