Ranji Trophy: Tamil Nadu batsmen come a cropper on a green top

Mumbai, electing to bowl, capitalized on the shaky Tamil Nadu response to a challenging pitch and cleaned up the opposition for a paltry 87 in 45.3 overs in a Ranji Trophy match in Lahli. Mumbai ended the day at 85 for four.


Mumbai debutant Tushar Deshpande claimed four wickets against Tamil Nadu during the Ranji Trophy match played at Chaudhry Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli on Thursday.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

The green on the pitch left Tamil Nadu red-faced. Clueless as the ball seamed and darted around, the Tamil Nadu batting appeared novice-like and caved in to the disciplined line that seamers Dhawal Kulkarni and debutant Tushar Deshpande adopted on a track that would have prompted most fast bowlers to over-exert when presented with such favourable conditions.

> Scorecard

The Lahli track is an ideal test for batsmanship as the ball does a lot. It seamed in the current conditions and would swing in winter later. The pitch had a decent `carry’ too as the wicketkeepers were kept busy, clutching the ball at shoulder height right through the day. Mumbai, electing to bowl, capitalized on the shaky Tamil Nadu response to a challenging pitch and cleaned up the opposition for a paltry 87 in 45.3 overs. Mumbai ended the day at 85 for four.

Six of the Tamil Nadu batsmen fell to catches behind the stumps – four by keeper Aditya Tare. A couple of batsmen, especially Abhinav Mukund and Dinesh Karthik, were swayed by deliveries they ought to have ignored. There was no resistance from the Tamil Nadu batsmen as Deshpande and Kulkarni pitched the ball up and reaped the rewards for accuracy.

Deshpande was drafted into the side in place of Shardul Thakur, who joined the India team for the third Test in Indore. He bowled within his limits and did not get carried away due to the assistance the pitch provided. His four strikes were matched by the seasoned Kulkarni, who was able to extract disconcerting bounce to unsettle the batsmen.

The match had four other debutants – Vijay Gohil, Armaan Jaffer, K. Vignesh and Washington Sundar. A first-ball dismissal spoilt Jaffer’s first appearance in Ranji trophy but overall the lack of skills to tackle the seaming ball was evident in both the camps. Not one batsman on view displayed the assurance to survive on a pitch that tested their resilience.

Tamil Nadu’s inexperience to tackle the Mumbai seamers ran through the ranks but Mumbai was not an exception either. It was so glaringly demonstrated in the way Suryakumar Yadav shaped to J. Kousik, playing all over the ball in trying to whip it off his pads, a shot only a V.V.S. Laxman or Azharuddin could have got away with. The response from Mumbai was built around Kaustubh Pawar who made an earnest effort to hang in even as Vignesh commanded respect with his two wickets..

Pawar, wisely preferring to play straight, did not waste the scoring opportunities with drives on the off being his preferred shot. With Tare for company, he blunted the bowlers and picked up runs through some neat deflections. At close, his unbeaten 26 looked the most compact knock of the day.

Ranji Trophy: Results: Day 1

Group A:

>Baroda 285 for two in 80 overs v Gujarat

>Tamil Nadu 87 in 45.3 overs v Mumbai 85 for four in 32 overs

>Railways 257 for five in 90 overs v Punjab

>Madhya Pradesh 292 for seven in 89.5 overs v Uttar Pradesh

Group B:

>Saurashtra 269 for five in 55.3 overs v Rajasthan

>Odisha 134 for six in 70 overs v Vidarbha

>Maharashtra 210 in 71.1 overs v Jharkhand

>Assam 132 for six in 62 overs v Delhi

Group C:

>Himachal 318 for seven in 80 overs v Andhra;

>Tripura 118 in 54 overs v Chhattisgarh 77 for three in 28 overs

>Goa 164 in 74 overs v Hyderabad 28 for one in 10 overs

>Services 143 for six in 57.4 overs v Haryana

>Kerala 263 for seven in 89 overs v Jammu & Kashmir

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