March 13, 2001

Tamil Nadu cruising along against Delhi

Staff Reporter

Tamil Nadu is grinding Delhi to abject submission, making the Delhi players take the field to be in the scorching sun. Tamil Nadu have virtually sealed a place in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals by taking the first innings lead against Delhi in the pre-quarter-final at the IIT-Chemplast Ground, Chennai, on Tuesday. Tamil Nadu are 278/4 at close of play, piling up an overall lead of 516 runs.

Resuming at 354/7, Delhi were bowled out for 365. MR Shrinivas picked up one more wicket in the morning to finish with the figures of 29-5-111-4. S Mahesh finished with 3/102 off 29 overs.

Robin Singh decided not to enforce the follow on and took the opportunity to get his batsmen some more batting practice. The opening batsmen did not justify their captain's good intentions though; both Sriram and Badarinath got themselves run out after making just 16 and 21 respectively.

It was all S Sharath and Hemanth Kumar for the rest of the day, both the batsmen smashing the ball all over the park. They added 207 runs for the third wicket before Hemanth was dismissed at 244. He made a classy 87 (1 six, 6 fours) and was distinctly unlucky to miss out on his second century of the match. He has had a remarkable start to his first class career scoring a century in his only innings against Kerala on debut and then going on to score a hundred in the first innings in this match.

Sharath who missed out on a big score in the first innings, made it up in the second by belting the ball to the fence with gay abandon, hitting an unbeaten 144 by close of play. He has so far smashed 18 fours and two sixes off 251 balls. S Mahesh is unbeaten on four.

Given the fact that Tamil Nadu has a long batting line up, it might well be another long day in the field on the last day for Delhi.