Mumbai v Tamil Nadu, 2nd semi-final, Ranji Trophy, 3rd day January 12, 2012

Vijay ton puts Tamil Nadu in sight of final berth

  shares 20

Tamil Nadu 359 & 220 for 4 (Vijay 103*, Prasanna 1*, Waingankar 2-43) lead Mumbai 157 (Yadav 52, Balaji 4-28, Mahesh 3-63) by 422 runs
Scorecard

Tamil Nadu have virtually booked their ticket for the final against defending champions Rajasthan, after consigning Mumbai to a wretched first innings with the bat at the Wankhede Stadium. Having removed more than half of the Mumbai batting on the second afternoon, the Tamil Nadu bowlers returned today to shut out the hosts in about an hour. Murali Vijay then scored his first century of the season to help the visitors move to a nearly unassailable lead with only a day remaining.

In the end, Mumbai were left staring at their first defeat in knockouts at home since 2006 when Praveen Kumar helped Uttar Pradesh, the eventual champions, inflict a five-wicket win in the semi-finals at the same ground. Their feeble batting was the only reason Mumbai lost that match. Six years on, that weakness was exposed once again.

Mumbai started the day 238 runs adrift of TN's first-innings total but with only four wickets in hand. Hiken Shah, the only specialist batsman left, was in early trouble he failed to read an incoming delivery from Yo Mahesh, who was bowling from round the stumps. The next ball was a straighter delivery wide of off stump, and Shah went fishing to edge behind in the fourth over of the day.

Ramesh Powar did not offer much resistance, beaten by L Balaji's inswinger that sent his middle and leg stumps flying. The tail subsided quickly as TN finished with a 202-run lead. Embarrassingly for Mumbai, they didn't have even one partnership worth 50.

With five-and-a-half sessions remaining, the visitors chose to bat on instead of enforcing the follow-on. They started confidently with both Vijay and Abhinav Mukund accelerating straightaway. Both had their own goals: Mukund, who had never got a Ranji ton against Mumbai, cut, drove and punched the new ball to march into the forties by lunch.

But immediately upon resumption of play, he lost his stumps after being beaten by Kshemal Waingankar's inward movement from round the stumps. Badrinath started with the same composure he displayed on the first day, but perished when he misread left-arm spinner Ankit Chavan. Badrinath played for the spin, but Chavan's straighter delivery sneaked through the narrow lane between bat and pad to bowl him.

In the very next over, Dinesh Karthik paid the price for playing his shots too early. Facing only his fourth delivery, from Balwinder Sandhu, Karthik tried playing on the up but the ball arrived slower than he anticipated, and moved in to castle him. Sandhu had got the better of Karthik for the second time in the match.

Two quick wickets for just five runs injected aggro into the Mumbai bowling attack. As far as Badrinath and Karthik were concerned, the duo had wasted a good opportunity to log some batting time ahead of the final and also impress the national selectors, Mohinder Amarnath, Narendra Hirwani and Surendra Bhave, who were watching.

The one person who did not disappoint was Vijay. Going into the semis, Vijay's highest was 83, against Madhya Pradesh in the group match. He had two other fifties, but was struggling to convert his starts. Even in the first innings he chased and edged an away-going delivery from Kulkarni.

Despite top-edging one over the wicketkeeper early in his innings, Vijay improvised quickly to race into the twenties with four fours, all against Kulkarni. Using his wrists, Vijay clipped runs off his legs towards midwicket, and was equally in command when he stood tall and cut the ball past point.

Soon after lunch he charged Ramesh Powar to hit a powerful six over long-on. With Chavan failing to attack the wicket consistently, Vijay grew confident as he moved close to the century. It was only then that he grew tentative. After getting his first 32 runs in just 40 deliveries, he consumed nearly 70 deliveries to move from 81 to 99.

He got lucky on 97 when Wasim Jaffer at slip failed to react to a hard-handed cut. Jaffer was not crouching enough and instead stood tall and casually tried reaching for the ball, which only deflected off his ankle, allowing Vijay to pick two more runs.

Vijay finally conquered all doubts and anxiety when Chavan, bowling wide of the crease from around the stumps, sent in a flighted delivery. Vijay swiftly jumped out of his crease and hit his second six, this time towards the Pavilion end, and celebrated the ton.

Incidentally, the last time these teams played in Mumbai, Vijay had scored an unbeaten 154, which, too, had come in the second innings. Even back then Mumbai had been bundled out quickly by Tamil Nadu. That was a group match, and Mumbai recovered well to dominate the rest of the season and win the title. This time there would be no second chance.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • satish619chandar on January 13, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @Suresh123456: Its bad luck that they missed Rohit and Rahane.. But still, i wouldnt state it as conspiracy mate.. Lets be sportive..

  • SHAKIB_IS_CLASS on January 13, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    Following Ranji is more interesting than Ind- Aus match. Mukund deserves a place in Team India.

  • rkannancrown on January 13, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    It was disappointing to see TN not try to win outright. They could have enforced follow on. Then they could have declared soon after Vijay's century. They are clearly the favourites for the final but a little more aggression was expected from Balaji & Co.

  • A.Ak on January 13, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    TN vs MUM is always like Ind vs Aus. Only team standing between winning a major and losing in knockout. Well done TN. Vijay, Badri, Mukund all are in form. Hope they shine in IPL too. They deserve a place in the national team, they are very consistent over the past 3 ranji sessions and Mukund and Badri were always amongst the top runner getters.

  • on January 13, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    wow tamils are winning back, these the ranji trophy is for tamil nadu, hope in ipl a tamil leads the chennai super kings rather than dhoni and and to see lots of tamils in tests & odis

  • on January 13, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    This is a truly clinical performance by TN. For obvious reasons, media always portrayed Mumbai to have an edge over TN even though TN had been consistent this Ranji season, well answered by TN through their excellent display of all- round skills. Bravo TN !!

  • venbas on January 13, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    On the last day with the lead already in excess of 500 runs and a place in the final assured courtesy the stupid first innings lead rule, Tamilnadu is just piling on the runs even post lunch. Why cant TN go for a absolute win the moment they have a lead in excess of 400 which is ungettable in a single day in Test cricket? Who is going to quell this type of negative playing in the elite tournaments and make things more meaninful and result oriented? If this is the kind of mindset of top teams in elite tournaments in India, then I doubt if we will have any result different from the thrashing we are getting abroad.

  • raj_che on January 13, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Awesome performance from TN !!! atlast they have gone past mumbai. Mumbai have been their main reason of not winning the ranji trophy. Good that this time they are into the finals. Superb performance by Balaji and others with the ball. To bundle out a team for 150 odd runs is simply superb!!! Great going guys!!! bring the cup !! its ben long due for this consistent performer of a team!!!

  • Suresh123456 on January 13, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    This is the conspiracy of Srikant.. Send Rahane and Rohit Sharma to Aus .. so that TN can beat Mumbai... The poor chaps still waiting for their turn in Aus... which i doubt they will get :(

  • joseyesu on January 13, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    WHY there is no mention of prasanna?

  • satish619chandar on January 13, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @Suresh123456: Its bad luck that they missed Rohit and Rahane.. But still, i wouldnt state it as conspiracy mate.. Lets be sportive..

  • SHAKIB_IS_CLASS on January 13, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    Following Ranji is more interesting than Ind- Aus match. Mukund deserves a place in Team India.

  • rkannancrown on January 13, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    It was disappointing to see TN not try to win outright. They could have enforced follow on. Then they could have declared soon after Vijay's century. They are clearly the favourites for the final but a little more aggression was expected from Balaji & Co.

  • A.Ak on January 13, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    TN vs MUM is always like Ind vs Aus. Only team standing between winning a major and losing in knockout. Well done TN. Vijay, Badri, Mukund all are in form. Hope they shine in IPL too. They deserve a place in the national team, they are very consistent over the past 3 ranji sessions and Mukund and Badri were always amongst the top runner getters.

  • on January 13, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    wow tamils are winning back, these the ranji trophy is for tamil nadu, hope in ipl a tamil leads the chennai super kings rather than dhoni and and to see lots of tamils in tests & odis

  • on January 13, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    This is a truly clinical performance by TN. For obvious reasons, media always portrayed Mumbai to have an edge over TN even though TN had been consistent this Ranji season, well answered by TN through their excellent display of all- round skills. Bravo TN !!

  • venbas on January 13, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    On the last day with the lead already in excess of 500 runs and a place in the final assured courtesy the stupid first innings lead rule, Tamilnadu is just piling on the runs even post lunch. Why cant TN go for a absolute win the moment they have a lead in excess of 400 which is ungettable in a single day in Test cricket? Who is going to quell this type of negative playing in the elite tournaments and make things more meaninful and result oriented? If this is the kind of mindset of top teams in elite tournaments in India, then I doubt if we will have any result different from the thrashing we are getting abroad.

  • raj_che on January 13, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Awesome performance from TN !!! atlast they have gone past mumbai. Mumbai have been their main reason of not winning the ranji trophy. Good that this time they are into the finals. Superb performance by Balaji and others with the ball. To bundle out a team for 150 odd runs is simply superb!!! Great going guys!!! bring the cup !! its ben long due for this consistent performer of a team!!!

  • Suresh123456 on January 13, 2012, 5:19 GMT

    This is the conspiracy of Srikant.. Send Rahane and Rohit Sharma to Aus .. so that TN can beat Mumbai... The poor chaps still waiting for their turn in Aus... which i doubt they will get :(

  • joseyesu on January 13, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    WHY there is no mention of prasanna?

  • ashok16 on January 13, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Looking at this Mumbai team there seems to be a serious case of decline going on. About six to eight of these players dont seem to belong. Rahane and Rohit Sharma might have helped but that would still leave a lot of passengers in the team. I think Mumbai havent also found replacements for Muzumdar and Samant, modestly skilled players (ie. who may not cut out at national level) but are solid contributors who dont give up and lift the skills of people around them. Jaffer is not playing that role and has mishandled his bowlers. While TN batting is experienced to know their roles, Bala has wonderfully motivated this bowling attack even if it is one that is going to go nowhere at the India level. Rajasthan is more like the old Mumbai of five years back. Should be an interesting finals.

  • Naresh28 on January 12, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Murli Vijay and Abinav Mukund could be sealing openning slots in team India tests with these displays.

  • AbhiNaik on January 12, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    Selectors need to replace Jaffer as captain (Powar should be good). His field settings and his overall body language is too defensive. Also need to penalise Agarkar who was asked to play this match but refused to budge. Maybe ban him for next season. Positives are that without Rahane, Rohit, Marathe and Salvi (Sachin and Zaheer as well), team still managed to reach semi's but then thats the norm (Actually winning is) Also need to find a genuine legspinner.

  • Pista on January 12, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Finally, TN beats Mumbai in knock outs. Good luck in the finals!

  • harekrishnaom on January 12, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    At last...TN are like the South Africa of Ranji cricket.

  • on January 12, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    It is rather disappointing to see this TN batting card. Abhi, who started out with a punch on the up on-side boundary and flurry of strokes suddenly started timing the ball bad. Not sure if there are any demons in the wicket or in his mind. Worst to come when Badri played for turn that he would have blocked 99 times out of 100. His distractions were whether to change gloves or not just prior to that ball. He asked for gloves while Vijay was changing and then said "venaam po" and lost his wicket next ball. KD was angered by WJ move to bring back nifty Sardar, he promptly leaned into the first one and clobbered it to the boundary. Then he got distracted with this "change my gloves now" process and played all over the next one. These three guys missed out playing themselves in. Lucky for Vijay, he is very positive and pleasing on the eye. Hope he gets his first 200 tomorrow, ahead of the finals. No surprises please Balaji. Your bowling unit can use an hour but not more than that.

  • on January 12, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Tamil Nadu team deserve it, Excellent over all performance by them. Mumbai domination in Ranji were bundled!!!!!!??????? ...Most of the Credits especially goes to R Prasanna,VY Mahesh S Badrinath,L Balaji, and M Vijay for their extra ordinary performance...

  • silly_pt on January 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Mumbai crumbling under pressure. Now that's a new thing. However, TN have performed to their potential & deserve to be in the final. Surprisingly enough Rajasthan is already waiting there. Now I won't be surprised if they actually defend their title!!

  • kingcobra85 on January 12, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Murali vijay scores in the big games! He scored that knock in the IPL finals, then semis last year and now again in semi's well done to TN players... They were up against it when you see the history nobody had given them a chance and to turn up and perform like this is heart warming

  • aravabalaji on January 12, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Excellent team effort has prospered TN to this level this season. As far as Badri is concerned, he has nothing to prove to the selectors just by this innings. You cannot turn a blind eye to his record of averaging>62 even after 100 matches. He is a team man and you can rely on him in any tough situation. It is a pity that his utility has been wasted all these years at Test level.

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  • aravabalaji on January 12, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Excellent team effort has prospered TN to this level this season. As far as Badri is concerned, he has nothing to prove to the selectors just by this innings. You cannot turn a blind eye to his record of averaging>62 even after 100 matches. He is a team man and you can rely on him in any tough situation. It is a pity that his utility has been wasted all these years at Test level.

  • kingcobra85 on January 12, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Murali vijay scores in the big games! He scored that knock in the IPL finals, then semis last year and now again in semi's well done to TN players... They were up against it when you see the history nobody had given them a chance and to turn up and perform like this is heart warming

  • silly_pt on January 12, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Mumbai crumbling under pressure. Now that's a new thing. However, TN have performed to their potential & deserve to be in the final. Surprisingly enough Rajasthan is already waiting there. Now I won't be surprised if they actually defend their title!!

  • on January 12, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Tamil Nadu team deserve it, Excellent over all performance by them. Mumbai domination in Ranji were bundled!!!!!!??????? ...Most of the Credits especially goes to R Prasanna,VY Mahesh S Badrinath,L Balaji, and M Vijay for their extra ordinary performance...

  • on January 12, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    It is rather disappointing to see this TN batting card. Abhi, who started out with a punch on the up on-side boundary and flurry of strokes suddenly started timing the ball bad. Not sure if there are any demons in the wicket or in his mind. Worst to come when Badri played for turn that he would have blocked 99 times out of 100. His distractions were whether to change gloves or not just prior to that ball. He asked for gloves while Vijay was changing and then said "venaam po" and lost his wicket next ball. KD was angered by WJ move to bring back nifty Sardar, he promptly leaned into the first one and clobbered it to the boundary. Then he got distracted with this "change my gloves now" process and played all over the next one. These three guys missed out playing themselves in. Lucky for Vijay, he is very positive and pleasing on the eye. Hope he gets his first 200 tomorrow, ahead of the finals. No surprises please Balaji. Your bowling unit can use an hour but not more than that.

  • harekrishnaom on January 12, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    At last...TN are like the South Africa of Ranji cricket.

  • Pista on January 12, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Finally, TN beats Mumbai in knock outs. Good luck in the finals!

  • AbhiNaik on January 12, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    Selectors need to replace Jaffer as captain (Powar should be good). His field settings and his overall body language is too defensive. Also need to penalise Agarkar who was asked to play this match but refused to budge. Maybe ban him for next season. Positives are that without Rahane, Rohit, Marathe and Salvi (Sachin and Zaheer as well), team still managed to reach semi's but then thats the norm (Actually winning is) Also need to find a genuine legspinner.

  • Naresh28 on January 12, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Murli Vijay and Abinav Mukund could be sealing openning slots in team India tests with these displays.

  • ashok16 on January 13, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Looking at this Mumbai team there seems to be a serious case of decline going on. About six to eight of these players dont seem to belong. Rahane and Rohit Sharma might have helped but that would still leave a lot of passengers in the team. I think Mumbai havent also found replacements for Muzumdar and Samant, modestly skilled players (ie. who may not cut out at national level) but are solid contributors who dont give up and lift the skills of people around them. Jaffer is not playing that role and has mishandled his bowlers. While TN batting is experienced to know their roles, Bala has wonderfully motivated this bowling attack even if it is one that is going to go nowhere at the India level. Rajasthan is more like the old Mumbai of five years back. Should be an interesting finals.