Tamil Nadu’s season comes to an end
Feb. 15, 2020
Chirag’s day out at Rajkot
Tamil Nadu had travelled all the way here, hoping for an outright win and a miraculous entry into the knockout stage.
However, it had to return home with just a point as Chirag Jani’s defiant unbeaten 124 (292b, 10x4, 2x6) saw Saurashtra gain the first innings lead in their Ranji Trophy Group B match at the SCA Stadium here on Saturday.
Overnight 346 for six, the host required 79 runs to take the lead. The team depended a lot on Arpit Vasavada, who was unbeaten on 126, and Chirag.
Vasavada goes early
But, the former departed after making 132 while trying to steal a single. It was Chirag’s call and Vasavada took off late. Abhinav Mukund, sensing an opportunity, swooped in on the ball from short mid-wicket and broke the stumps to catch Vasavada short.
The Saurashtra camp was left shaken as it wanted Vasavada to play a longer innings.
Dharmendrasinh Jadeja followed soon after, edging pacer K. Vignesh to wicketkeeper R. Kavin, substituting for Jagadeesan, who was nursing an ankle injury suffered during the warm-up session.
The two quick wickets swung the momentum the visitors’ way. Just when Tamil Nadu was looking to clean up the tail, Chirag found an able ally in Jayadev Unadkat (40, 90b, 5x4).
The Saurashtra skipper stood firm, forging a 74-run partnership for the ninth wicket to help the hosts win the first innings race.
Unadkat finally fell leg-before to debutant pacer Sinivas. Chirag’s century was the only interest left in the contest and he reached the coveted mark with a single to mid-wicket off part-time off-spinner Kaushik Gandhi.
Chirag earned a huge round of applause from his teammates for his knock and for shouldering the side’s responsibility.
Saurashtra had reached 481 for nine, shortly before tea, when the captains decided to shake hands.
“It [losing first innings points] was difficult to digest after putting up a huge total on the board. But this venue is known for high-scoring games. However, I think we bowled and controlled the game, but could not pick up wickets,” said B. Aparajith, the Tamil Nadu skipper. He felt that the season was “good” overall.
“It’s disappointing not to be in the knockouts but definitely we will come back stronger, both as individuals and team, next year.
“It’s a process and will take some time. Every match played this year was a learning curve for all of us and these learnings will come in handy next season,” he signed off.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: 424.
Saurashtra — 1st innings: Harvik Desai c Sai Kishore b Vignesh 12, Kishan Parmar c Sinivas b Sai Kishore 24, Avi Barot c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 82, Vishvarajsinh Jadeja c Sinivas b Siddharth16, Arpit Vasavada run out 132, Samarth Vyas c Kaushik b Mohammed 10, Prerak Mankad lbw b Siddharth 13, Chirag Jani (not out) 124, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja c (sub) b Vignesh 4, Unadkat lbw b Sinivas 40, Kushang Patel (not out) 4; Extras (nb-6, w-3, b-6, lb-5): 20; Total (for nine wkts. in 184 overs): 481.
Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-45, 3-87, 4-195, 5-213, 6-242, 7-358, 8-368, 9-442.
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