Ranji Trophy: Tamil Nadu batsmen fight back

Tamil Nadu produced some disciplined batting and trail by 66 runs at the end of second day.

Kaushik Gandhi was not out on 75 at the end of day two.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Sixty six runs separate Tamil Nadu and Punjab for the first ininings honour at the end of the second day’s play in the Ranji Trophy match at the Vidharbha Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday. The interesting situation was created by some disciplined batting by Tamil Nadu. Kaushik Gandhi and Vijay Shankar hold the hopes for Tamil Nadu while Punjab rests its hopes on the new ball that is due after five more overs.

>Scorecard

Punjab resumed at 241 for six and added 43 runs as the lower half failed to apply itself. Punjab had the potential to cross 350 but credit goes to Tamil Nadu for restricting the opposition and hoping for the batting to come good.

A lot depended on a good start but two strikes by Manpreet Gony saw Tamil Nadu lose L. Suryaprakash and B. Indrajith cheaply. The situation was retrieved by Abhinav Mukund and Gandhi as they put on 27 confident runs before the Tamil Nadu captain was done in by a ball that crawled to hit the stumps. Mukund was distinctly unlucky after he appeared in excellent touch before the devious ball, the only one to shoot on this day.

The experienced Karthik took over the mantle and guided Gandhi as Punjab was confronted by their scoring skills. Karthik was not his usual restless self and chose to put his head down and bat to his reputation. Gandhi prospered at the other end to produce some delightful shots that demonstrated his talent to grow into a reliable batsman for his team.

Karthik and Gandhi added 85 crucial runs for the fourth-wicket before left-arm spinner Rajwinder Singh, playing his first match of the season, provided the breakthrough for Punjab. Karthik’s edge was taken brilliantly by Jiwanjot at silly point. His 54 off 93 balls contained seven fours.

Tamil Nadu was well served by the gifted Shankar, who made an impression with his positive approach and added 62 runs for the unfinished fifth-wicket stand with Gandhi, who has faced 206 balls for his 75 with nine fours. Shankar, having batted 55 balls for his 32, has struck five fours.