November 10, 2000

Tamil Nadu take an unassailable lead over visitors

A 77 run opening wicket stand between Rajat Bhatia (34) and S Badrinath (40) in Tamil Nadu's second innings helped the hosts take a unassailable 300 run lead over Karnataka in their South Zone Ranji Trophy match at the IIT-Chemplast Ground in Chennai on Friday. Karnataka in their first innings were bundled out for 254.

Resuming at 103 for 2, Karnataka lost Sujith Somasundar (12) in the 49th over. Off the very next ball skipper Vijay Bharadwaj also departed, trapped leg before by S Mahesh. Then Barrington Rowland (54) was caught and bowled by Thiru Kumaran in the 52nd over. Three balls later Karnataka were in deeper trouble when they lost stumper Thilak Naidu (8).

However, B Akhil (30) and Dodda Ganesh (27) added 63 runs for the seventh wicket that salvaged Karnataka from certain ignominy as they managed to cross the 200 run mark. Vadiaraj's quick 28 off 32 balls took the score on to 254 before he became the last man to be dismissed. Thiru Kumaran (3 for 57) and WD Balaji Rao (3 for 55) shared the honours for Tamil Nadu.

Having taken a huge lead the Tamil Nadu skipper Robin Singh deemed it not necessary to make the visitors follow on and sent in his openers. The two responded well by remaining unbeaten till stumps were drawn on the third day with the Tamil Nadu scoreline reading 77 for no loss.