November 9, 2000

Robin leads from the front, puts Tamil Nadu in command

Propelled by a fine 106 by skipper Robin Singh on the second morning, Tamil Nadu amassed 477 runs in the first innings of their South Zone Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka at the IIT-Chemplast Ground in Chennai on Thursday. Karnataka, in response scored 103 for 2 when stumps were drawn.

Resuming at the overnight score of 284 for 6, Robin Singh and S Mahesh (36) took control of the proceedings to forge a 129 run seventh wicket stand. During the course of their partnership, Mahesh was merely a spectator as Robin Singh went from strength to strength and before long notched up his 16th century in the national competition. Mahesh was the first to be dismissed just before the stroke of lunch, caught by Thilak Naidu off Vadiaraj. Robin himself did not last long and two overs into the post lunch session Vijay Bharathwaj trapped him leg before.

Tamil Nadu's innings was just not over as Indian team discard Aashish Kapoor (62) found some good company in the tailenders, especially WD Balaji Rao who stood his ground with a resolute 5 runs off 26 balls. But this gave ample impetus for Kapoor and by the time he fell he made sure that the Tamil Nadu scorecard read 477.

Karnataka in their first innings had an early setback losing J Arun Kumar (8) in the seventh over, when Kumaran shattered his defences. But Mithun Beerala (46) and Barrington Rowland (42) put their heads down to take the score to 92. Tamil Nadu made another comeback when Balaji Rao struck a vital blow late in the day. With only 8 overs to go for stumps, Beerala fell leg before. Sujith Somasundar (3) and Rowland negotiated the rest of the overs.