Tamil Nadu v Baroda, Ranji Trophy, Group B, Chennai, 4th day December 9, 2013

Rangarajan six-for gives Tamil Nadu first win

Alagappan Muthu in Chennai

Tamil Nadu 233 (Karthik 92, Yusuf 6-84) and 59 for 1 (Arun Karthik 33) beat Baroda 162 (Mistry 68, Shah 4-49) and 129 (Mistry 64, Rangarajan 6-46) by 9 wickets

Tamil Nadu's campaign received a timely boost in the form of their first victory of the season, over Baroda in Chennai. A career-best five-wicket haul from the 24-year-old offspinner Malolan Rangarajan swerved a match that was snailing towards a draw and helped the hosts climb to fourth place on the Group B table. With three games left in the preliminary stage, two of which would be at home, Tamil Nadu's bid for the Ranji crown is back on track.

A strong overnight position of 73 for 1 was squandered by a tame batting effort by the visitors, characterised by a reluctance to keep the score moving. Dhiren Mistry accumulated his second half-century of the match and looked rather comfortable for his 230 balls, but even he was unable to manoeuvre the spinners around.

On a pitch that had lent assistance to the spinners since the first session of the game, Malolan and left-arm spinner Aushik Srinivas were allowed to settle into a rhythm and their impact was decisive. After the half-century partnership between Mistry and Aditya Waghmode, none of the Baroda batsmen were able to post a double-figure score. Tamil Nadu's cause was helped by a change of ball in the 48th over, and the spinners seemed to extract better turn and bounce with the replacement.

"The wicket was slower than [in] the first innings," said Malolan, who was adjudged Man of the Match. "[It] wasn't turning as much and the bounce was a little on the lower side. We had to work a bit harder and get our plans right. It was just a coincidence that the wickets came (after the ball-change)."

Srinivas produced the match-turning over as he claimed two wickets in two balls. Abhimanyu Chauhan's angled bat became his undoing as he steered a fullish ball to slip. Yusuf Pathan bagged a golden duck as he edged one that drifted in and turned away. Abhinav Mukund at first slip took a smart catch, diving to his left and Baroda slumped to 116 for 5.

The tail flailed around and walked back, while at the other end Mistry, made little attempt to secure some quick runs. When he did decide to go for it, he chose the wrong ball and reached out to loft a turning ball and was caught at cover.

"It wasn't a conscious decision to bat cautiously," Mistry said. "Our main goal in the morning was to see off the first session and build upon that from thereon. The major factor for our defeat was our shot selection."

Chasing a modest target of 59, the Tamil Nadu openers were markedly more aggressive in their approach. Arun Karthik employed the sweep shot early and to great effect en route to picking up five fours. The search for singles wasn't troublesome either as the batsmen hit to the fielders at the 30-yard circle and took them on. Chugging along at nearly four-an-over, a 10-wicket win and seven points seemed only a matter of time, but Arun Karthik fell lbw to Ketul Patel. A small consolation for Baroda, who look all but out of the competition, with three losses in five games.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 10, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    On paper Tamil Nadu is as good as Mumbai or any other team in the Ranji format however they have not performed to their potential when needed especially during the knock-out stages of the Ranji Trophy. The reason could be that they keep rotating their players in both batting and bowling areas which makes the insecurity on the Players. They should select the best 14 or 15 allow them to play the full season with full confidence. This may create security and the Players could perform better and even could win the Finals. I hope the Team Management will re-think their rotating policy and give complete season for the Players to perform.

  • srinivasan on December 10, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    If they qualify for QF, they have a good chance make into the final with their batting power (1st inns lead) . Bowling is a big concern.

  • Dummy on December 10, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Kudos to Bala and Team TN.need more runs from batsman.All the best.

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    congrats, nice to see TN wins, yesterday i thought the match would be draw, but TN team surprised us kudos, it would be tough for TN to win the title as they don't have a strong bowling line up, which can take 20 wickets in a match and also they don't have a bowler who can give them a break, that's what happened in the last match againt saurashtra, hope the newly formed spin trio malolan,shah,srini would deliver in the coming matches,

    TN needs to find a really good opening pacer !!!

  • Muthu on December 9, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    TN will strive for 3 points in the next away match vs railways, and try to win the next two home matches with spinner friendly pitches. THen you are through to QF, Take it from there

  • Sridhar on December 9, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Oh Finally the TN team has managed to squeeze a win........some serious introspection is required both by the TNCA Administration and the senior players in the current team.....

  • Sriram on December 9, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Rangarajan has started the season in same fashion he ended last year! but i suppose he wont feature even in A tours as the focus is on Jalaj Saxena and Parveez, to be fair they both have done well. On the other hand, TN with this bowling line up cannot dream of the trophy as thier fast bowlers need to pick up else to expect spinners to rescue every time might not be a good option.

  • Android on December 9, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Badri had fever

  • Dummy4 on December 9, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    Tamil Nadu has been a really unlucky team till now... Even this match when they were performing they lost half a day due to rain but still comes back n wins d match.. Way 2 go. Meanwhile y Badri didnt play this game ?.. Is he injured???

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