Debutant S. Sai Sudharsan cracked an impressive century (179, 273b, 18x4, 1x6) and Baba Aparajith notched up a brilliant ton (115 n.o.,165b, 11x4, 3x6) to help Tamil Nadu declare at 510 for four in reply to Hyderabad’s 395 and pile on the agony for Hyderabad on the penultimate day of the four-day Ranji Trophy championship Elite Group B match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Thursday.
In reply, the home team scored 28 for no loss at close of play. Opener Abhirath Reddy retired hurt after being hit on the forearm when he was in line with a throw from the wicketkeeper.
Earlier, resuming at 203 for no loss, Tamil Nadu lost overnight centurion N. Jagadeesan (116) to the third ball of the day when pacer Kartikeya Kak saw the batter fend a rising ball straight to the slip fielder.
But, Sudharsan stayed put at one end. Understandably, he was cautious– scoring 48 runs off 96 balls with three fours and one six. It was, perhaps, a reflection of the task given to him – to keep Hyderabad bowlers at bay.
Just when looking good for a double century, Sudharsan couldn’t resist the temptation of playing a loose stroke on off-stump off left-arm spinner Tanay Thyagarajan only to be caught behind.
Then, it was the turn of Aparajith to toy with the bowling attack. The way he laid back to late cut twice in one over and later stepped out to loft over long-on – all off Thyagarajan – was a delight to watch.
Aparajith was lucky on 92 to see Aniketh Reddy drop a catch, near deep mid-wicket fence when he pulled pacer B. Punnaiah. But, he soon reached the coveted mark with a beautiful on-drive off Kak.
Once captain Baba Indrajith (48, 52b, 5x4)was run-out, Tamil Nadu declared the innings.
In the final session, Hyderabad pacers Punnaiah and Kak bowled well but without luck.