All-rounder Vijay Shankar stood tall among the ruins with a knock of 71 as Tamil Nadu struggled to 213 for 9 against Punjab on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘B’ match here on Friday.
Sent into bat by the host, the Tamil Nadu openers were given Nadu openers were given a stern test by pacers Manpreet Singh and Baltej Singh, who made good use of the conditions.
Grewal bowled superbly to finish with figures of 5 for 56 to leave the visiting side in danger of being bowled out for a below-par total. He made use of the favorable conditions to trouble most of the batsmen and was rewarded with wickets.
Left-hander Abhinav Mukund had a harrowing time at the crease before edging one to wicketkeeper Abhishek Gupta for 5 (31 balls).
N Jagadeesan, pushed up to open the innings as M Kaushik Gandhi was dropped, tried to hit his way out of trouble, but was trapped LBW by Baltej for 19 (42 balls) in the 15th over, to leave Tamil Nadu tottering at 31 for 3.
Baltej struck two balls later, castling the in-form TN captain Baba Indrajith for a duck, sending the stumps flying.
The experienced Dinesh Karthik (26) joined Baba Aparajith in the middle and the two looked to repair the damage. They did succeed in their attempt to a certain extent before Karthik was castled by Baltej.
With the score on 111, Aparajith was unlucky to see a defensive shot bounce back and roll on to the stumps even as he looked on.
Shankar, who shone for India ‘A’ in the recent series in New Zealand, played confidently and ran judiciously. He also played several handsome shots on both sides of the wicket and hit seven fours.
Vijay Shankar and the young M Shahrukh Khan (19) put on 44 runs before M Mohammed (27) helped the former add 58 important runs for the eighth wicket.
Manpreet Grewal’s stunned Tami Nadu with three quick blows in the 82nd and 84th overs, dismissing Shankar, Mohammed and K Vignesh (0).
Grewal’s strikes reduced the visitors to 213 for 9 after appearing to have recovered from the early losses.
SHREYAS, LAD FLAY BARODA ATTACK
Shreyas Iyer slammed 11 sixes and 17 fours in a blistering knock of 178 and put on a double century stand with skipper Siddhesh Lad, who made a responsible 130, to power Mumbai to an imposing score of 439 for 8 against Baroda her only Thursday from New Zealand after a stint with India A, was in punishing form, sparing no one from the visitors’ ranks to compile his 12th first-class hundred in his first Ranji game of the season as he rescued the hosts from 28 for 2 with a stand of 283 in just over 45 overs with Lad on day one of the Elite Group game.
Hardik Pandya, back in competitive cricket after recovering from a back spasm that he suffered in the Asia Cup in UAE in September, had opened the bowling and rocked Mumbai with a two-wicket haul for 21 in his impressive comeback spell of six overs after Mumbai were put in to bat at the Wankhede Stadium.
Pandya’s cheap dismissals of openers Aditya Tare and newcomer Vikrant Auti had no effect on Iyer who went on a run-scoring spree to take the wind out of Baroda’s sails and place Mumbai in a commanding position at stumps.
From Online Sources