After Abhinav Mukund’s brilliant century on day one, it was another left-hander, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, who starred for Tamil Nadu on day two against Delhi in the final Ranji Trophy Group B match here on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old who is making his debut showed plenty of promise and wasn't awed by the stage of first-class cricket once he got his eye in with a classy 78 that put TN in the driver’s seat with 432 in its first innings.
Day 1 report
In reply, Delhi did the hard work of seeing off the first 11 of its 13 overs before two wickets in quick succession allowed TN to finish on top with the visitor ending on 35 for two.
Earlier, TN lost overnight batsman Vijay Shankar cheaply, trapped leg-before off pacer Subodh Bhati that brought Pradosh alongside Abhinav.
Pradosh started off cautiously taking 16 balls to get off the mark and the youngster was edgy and nervous as he was searching for his first run. But once he got that, the left-hander quickly pounced on the Delhi bowlers, with his next four scoring shots being boundaries.
The youngster looked assured in the middle and was not afraid to step down to the spinners and played beautifully off the backfoot with half off his boundaries coming square off the wicket. It started with a backfoot punch off pacer Bhati to get his first boundary before he stepped out to Shivam Sharma and lofted him over the top. He had seven boundaries and a six before he got to his half-century.
The youngster later said he was distraught he missed out on a big hundred after he was trapped leg before off left-arm spinner Vikash Mishra (five for 142), moving far too across to work it fine on the leg-side and missing an innocuous delivery.
At the other end, Abhinav, who resumed his innings on 104, hit two boundaries before he was dismissed for 134, caught at cover driving off-spinner Shivam.
Round 9, Day 2: As it happened
Later, Shahrukh Khan, who joined Pradosh, played a responsible innings before he was dismissed for 55 going for quick runs in the last session with the duo adding 82 runs for the fifth wicket.
Delhi opener Kunal Chandila started off positively sending left-arm pacer T. Natarajan for five boundaries before he was run out off the penultimate ball of the day, thanks to Vijay Shankar’s brilliant pick up and direct hit after left-arm spinner Sai Kishore had the other opener Shivam Sharma trapped leg-before in the previous over.
With the pitch at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium offering good assistance for the spinners, TN will want to push hard with its two-left arm spinners on day three.