Ranji Trophy: Spinners rule the roost as TN secures lead against Jharkhand

In the second innings, TN ended the day on 15 for two after the openers Kaushik and Suryapprakash were once again found wanting against the quick Rahul Shukla.

Tamil Nadu’s Shahrukh Khan (three wickets), M. Siddharth (four wickets) and Sandeep Warrier (two wickets) celebrate after helping their side take the lead against Jharkhand in Guwahati on Friday.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

Spinners M. Siddharth (4/37) and M. Shahrukh Khan (3/36) bowled Tamil Nadu to a strong position. Their effort helped secure the crucial first-innings lead of 59 runs against Jharkhand on day two of the final Ranji Trophy league match here at the Nehru Stadium on Friday.

Resuming the day on 256 for seven, TN was bowled out for 285 after Jharkhand left-arm pacer Sushant Mishra quickly took the last three wickets with a fiery and accurate spell.

Utkarsh Singh (52) got Jharkhand off to a good start, and at lunch, his side was 80/2 in 23 overs.

The left-handed batter went after the TN quicks Sandeep Warrier and M. Mohammed, slamming five boundaries against them through the off-side with neatly struck cover drives.

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Saurabh Tiwary (58) was aggressive too. He started his innings with a six and four against Sai Kishore as they added 73-runs for the third wicket partnership.

Utkarsh smashed two boundaries in an Aparajith over to reach his fifty before getting caught behind off Warrier.

With Jharkhand having six left-handed batters in its line-up, off-spinner Kaushik Gandhi bowled from one end. He, along with Warrier and Mohammed, bowled a few tight overs drying up the runs.

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Tiwary, who had raced to 45 off 53 balls, was made to wait for his half-century which he got to by stepping down and hitting Mohammed through covers. He was then dismissed by part-time off-spinner Shahrukh, who got one to turn away from the left-hander with Indrajith taking a good catch at slip as Jharkhand went from 133 for two to 179 for five at tea.

Immediately after the break, Shahrukh once again struck with two quick wickets with Siddharth picking up the other three to help TN take the lead.

In the second innings, TN ended the day on 15 for two after the openers Kaushik and Suryapprakash were once again found wanting against the quick Rahul Shukla.

With the pitch helping the spinners, TN will look to build a lead of at least 300 to give itself a good chance of defending a total.

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 c Kushagra b Sushant 19, M Mohammed b Sushant 7, M. Siddharth b Sushant 8, Sandeep Warrier not out 4,

Extras (b-9, lb-6, w-3) 18

Total (in 80.2 overs) 285

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-16, 3-21, 4-32, 5-203, 6-235, 7-244, 8-264, 9-272

Jharkhand Bowling: Ashish 12-4-30-1, Shukla 14-2-57-3, Nadeem 23-2-83-1, Sushant 10.2-1-39-3, Utkarsh 7-1-18-0, Anukul 14-4-43-2

Jharkhand (1st innings): Utkarsh Singh c Jagadeesan b Warrier 51, Mohammed Nazim c Vijay Shankar b Warrier 17, Kumar Kushagra c Indrajith b Sai Kishore 14, Saurabh Tiwary c Indrajith b Sharukh 58, Virat Singh c Suryapprakash b Siddharth 17, Kumar Suraj lbw b Shahrukh 19, Anukul Roy lbw b Shahrukh 17, Shahbaz Nadeem lbw b Siddharth 1, Sushant Mishra c Sai Kishore b Siddharth 4, Ashish Kumar not out 8, Rahul Shukla lbw b Siddharth 5

Extras (b-11, lb-1, nb-2): 14

Total (in 74.3 overs): 226

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-58, 3-131,4-165, 5-177, 6-199, 7-200, 8-204, 9-208

Tamil Nadu Bowling: Warrier 11-5-28-2, Siddharth 16.3-3-37-4, Sai Kishore 11-2-38-1, Mohammed 8-1-23-0, Aparajith 6-1-32-0, Kaushik 10-2-20-0, Shahrukh 12-3-36-3

Tamil Nadu (2nd innings): Kaushik Gandhi c Kushagra b Shukla 1, Suryapprakash c&b Shukla 2, Aparajith batting 7, Sai Kishore batting 2

Extras (lb-1, w-2): 3

Total (for two wickets in 10 overs): 15

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-12

Jharkhand Bowling: Shukla 4-1-42, Ashish 2-0-9-0, Nadeem 3-2-1-0, Anukul 1-1-0-0

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