After B. Aparajith (166, 267b, 15x4, 4x6) and M. Shahrukh Khan (69, 105b, 8x4, 2x6) added quick runs in the morning, spinners R. Sai Kishore (2/20) and M. Siddharth (2/35) put Tamil Nadu in a strong position at the end of day two of the Ranji Trophy match against Chhattisgarh at the Nehru Stadium on Friday.
Resuming at 308 for four, TN declared after posting a huge total of 470 for nine before reducing the opponent to 103 for five.
Earlier, overnight showers meant the day’s play started one hour late but once on the field, Aparajith and Shahrukh went about the business of making quick runs with relative ease.
Aparajith, who was batting on 101, found his rhythm immediately with three quick boundaries, including two consecutive ones off pacer Veer Pratap Singh through the on-side. The all-rounder was in full flow taking on the spinners and lofting a few sixes as TN added 109 runs in just 20 overs in the first session.
At the other end, Shahrukh started with a pull to fine leg and then an upper-cut off Ravi Kiran to get going. He then slammed Veer Pratap through covers and straight down the ground before pulling Kiran again to get to his half-century.
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Aparajith started the second session on 144 and found two boundaries to take him past 150. He made 166 to lift the TN innings.
Chhattisgarh’s innings got off to a poor start. Siddharth, who opened the bowling with Sandeep Warrier, struck in his second over to trap opener Sanidhya Hurkat in front of the stumps.
Soon, Sai Kishore joined the party as he removed the other opener Akhil Herwadkar leg-before off his second ball. Just before tea, Mohammed had Ashutosh Singh caught at covers to reduce Chhattisgarh to 40 for three.
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In the last session, skipper Harpreet Singh Bhatia and Amandeep Khare steadied the ship with a 58-run stand for the fourth wicket. The left-handed Bhatia was particularly impressive, nudging it behind square on the leg-side and also finding a few boundaries with cut shots as the spinners were not consistent with their lengths.
During the final drinks break of the day, coach M. Venkataramana had some words with his spinners, and they delivered immediately when Sai Kishore got one to turn away from Khare and B. Indrajith took a good low-catch at first slip.
A few overs later, Siddharth struck, removing Sumit Ruikar for a duck to put TN in a strong position ahead of the last two days.