Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu share spoils on day of attrition

Karnataka progressed to 259 for six on day one of the Ranji Trophy contest against host Tamil Nadu at the NPR ground.

Ravichandran Ashwin bowled a probing 16-over spell before lunch. (FILE PICTURE)   -  M VEDHAN

Catches were dropped, appeals came to nothing, and raw emotions swept the arena. Two old rivals slugged it out on a bright, sunny Monday of heat and dust.

Tamil Nadu picked four spinners, expected to bowl last on a dry surface, but ended up losing the toss. It had to regroup.

And Karnataka progressed to 259 for six on day one of the engrossing Ranji Trophy contest at the NPR ground.

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Stroke of fortune

The left-handed Devdutt Padikkal displayed glimpses of promise - the lanky batsman leaned into his cover drives, and cut with panache - during his 182-ball 78 (7x4) but also immense luck.

He was dropped on 2 (at point off Vijay Shankar), on 7 (a sitter at short cover off R. Ashwin) and 64 (a dolly at mid on off Murugan Ashwin) all by debutant M. Siddharth.

R. Ashwin, who bowled with rhythm and control had set Padikkal up with two shorter deliveries and then drew him forward and got him to miscue by getting the ball to dip. 

Siddharth dropped three catches and discovered there was no place to hide on a cricket field.

Creditably, he still sent down his left-arm spinners with zip. The lanky lad, who uses his body in his action, had the well-settled Mayank Agarwal (43) nicking a delivery that spun away.

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Padikkal, Deshpande shine

Late in the day, despite the mental pounding, he turned one from middle to off to castle B.R. Sharath.

And the parsimonious Ashwin, who bowled a probing 16-over spell before lunch, created the pressure.

Karnataka captain Karun Nair worked Ashwin to short mid-wicket and set off. Vijay Shankar swooped on the ball and bowler Ashwin did the rest.

Padikkal and Pawan Deshpande, the two left-handers, added 116 for the fourth wicket with some enterprising strokes and slices of good fortune before occasional spinner B. Aparajith’s change of pace extracted a miscue from Padikkal.

Between strokes of authority, Deshpande (65, 142b, 6x4) survived a string of appeals from R. Ashwin before the wily off-spinner had the southpaw caught behind. 

Fielding close in, Abhinav Mukund took a painful blow on his chest and left the arena. Paceman K. Vignesh castled opener D. Nischal with a nippy incoming delivery but suffered a bout of vomiting.   

This was a day of drama and action. 

At Dindigul: Karnataka 259/6 (Devdutt Padikkal 78, Pavan Deshpande 65; M Siddharth 2-33, Baba Aparajith 1-24) vs Tamil Nadu.

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