December 11, 2000

Tamil Nadu thrash Kerala for an emphatic win

Brilliant bowling by Sadagoppan Ramesh and a scintillating knock by JR Madanagopal helped Tamil Nadu beat Kerala by six wickets in the Ranji One- Day South Zone League played at the Guru Nanak College Ground, Chennai on Monday. Though they won the match with ease, Tamil Nadu had to live with the fact that they could not qualify for the Wills Trophy as Karnataka took the honours of being the South Zone Ranji One-Day Champions. Their best form came a little too late in the tournament. Hyderabad who were the front-runners in the race, shot themselves in the foot by losing to the unfancied Goa. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had eight points each and Karnataka qualified by the virtue of their victory over Tamil Nadu.

Electing to bat after winning the toss, Kerala lost the reliable MP Sorab (9) in the fifth over. Kerala played it safe and reached 81 in the 23 over when opener C Sanju was bowled by Gokulakrishna for 29 made in 66 balls. Sanju had added 66 for the second wicket with Prashanth Menon in 18.2 overs. Menon went on to complete his half century and added 53 for the third wicket with captain Sunil Oasis in 81 balls. Oasis was dismissed in the 37th over for 31 made in 45 balls which included 3 boundaries as Kerala were reduced to 134/3. S Ramesh better known for his batting skills took the wicket of Oasis and then removed Menon in the 41st over. Menon had made 64 in 107 balls and hit the balls five times to the ropes. Ramesh wasn't done yet he went on to pick three more Kerala batsmen to finish with 5/31 in 9 overs as Kerala innings folded for 184 in the 47th over. The last eight wickets falling for 50 runs.

Tamil Nadu had to score runs in double quick time to be in contention for the KS Subbiah Pillai Trophy as the run quotient would have mattered if Hyderabad won their match against Goa. Tamil Nadu got off to a flying start as they reached their fifty in the sixth over. But they lost opener S Sharath in the sixth over, LBW to the seasoned campaigner Anathapadmanabhan for 32 made in just 22 balls. Sharath's cameo included seven boundaries. Tamil Nadu wicket keeper Reuben Paul joined opener JR Madanagopal and kept the momentum going. They added 117 runs for the second wicket in just 95 balls when Reuben charged down the track to C Sanju and was neatly stumped. Reuben made 46 in 47 balls as he struck a six and four boundaries. Madanagopal in the meanwhile was going great guns smashing the Kerala bowlers all over the park. He hit two huge sixes and seven boundaries in his 70 ball innings before he was caught by Chandrashekara of Yohannan for 81 in the 23rd over. Tamil Nadu were going for a quick finish and send S Mahesh in to bat. Mahesh did not disappoint as he hoisted a huge six over square leg but was quickly dismissed by Sanju for 7 made in 3 balls. Tamil Nadu didn't waste much time as they reached 185/4 in the last ball of the 24th over.