Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Gritty Tamil Nadu salvages draw against Punjab

Tamil Nadu skipper Baba Indrajith struck a crucial 93 to lead his side to a draw against Punjab in their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 clash on Monday.

Tamil Nadu skipper Baba Indrajith sends one to the fence during his 93-run knock against Punjab in the Ranji Trophy on Monday.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Tamil Nadu put up a resolute batting diplay to salvage a draw against Punjab in the Ranji Trophy match at the PCA Stadium here on Monday. Resuming the day at 166 for three, Tamil Nadu thrived on knocks from skipper Baba Indrajith, Dinesh Karhik and Vijay Shankar to deny a desperate Punjab an outright win.

“We would have been happy with a victory,” said Punjab skipper Mandeep Singh. The efforts of the home team were met with determined resistance by Indrajith and a disciplined Karthik, who played to the situation, eschewing his flair for strokeplay. Indrajith’s 93 off 196 balls (10 fours) was cut short when Karthik’s straight drive was deflected on to the stumps.

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“I am disappointed at missing the century but we were essentially playing for pride. I have enjoyed my responsibilities of captaincy and I am sure the next season would be different. We are in the process of building the team and have learnt a lot in the season so far,” Indrajith observed.

Punjab's Yuvraj Singh and Tamil Nadu's Dinesh Karthik share a light moment during their Ranji Trophy clash on Monday.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

 

Karthik’s experience guided Indrajith in the middle as the veteran batted 174 balls and hit eight fours. “I don’t want to take away any credit from the Tamil Nadu batsmen but the pitch had eased a lot today. Siddharth (Kaul) would have made the difference in this match. He wanted to play. Our bowlers did well on this surface. Baltej (Singh) was unlucky in his seven-over spell this morning but I must say TN batted better in the second innings,” Mandeep added.

Shankar scored his second half century of the match. His unbeaten 51 off 80 balls contained five fours and importantly ensured TN did not slip in the afternoon. “There was something for the bowlers on the first day and the ball was seaming around. But we need to counter such challenges and conditions,” said Indrajith, praising his batsmen for the improved performance on the final day.

Brief Scores:

At Mohali: Tamil Nadu 215 & 383 for six in 121 overs (Abhinav Mukund 74, N. Jagadeesan 50, B. Indrajith 93, Dinesh Karthik 74, Vijay Shankar 51 n.o.) vs. Punjab 479; Points: Punjab 3(12), Tamil Nadu 1(12).