Tamil Nadu 403 and 193 for 6 (Shankar 82, Karthik 64, Bandiwar 3-31) lead Vidarbha 259 (Katariya 42, Badrinath 40, Malolan 3-42) by 337 runs
Tamil Nadu took another big step towards clinching a spot in the Ranji Trophy semi-finals, as half-centuries from Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar helped the team build a huge lead on the penultimate day against Vidarbha in Jaipur.
Vidarbha, who began the day at 206 for 6 staring at an innings deficit, lasted less than 15 overs, as R Malolan (3 for 42), L Balaji and Prasanth Parameswaran quickly wiped out the tail, earning the team a lead of 144. Tamil Nadu, though, were jolted early in their second dig as three quick strikes from the medium-pacer Swapnil Bandiwar had them reeling at 26 for 3.
However, Karthik and Shankar counterattacked, combining for a fourth-wicket association which yielded 89 runs. Karthik was eventually caught behind for 64, but Shankar carried on, adding a further 65 runs for the fifth wicket with R Prasanna to guide Tamil Nadu close to the 200-run mark. Shankar was run out for 82 - his second 50-plus score of the match - towards the end of the day, but with Tamil Nadu stretching their lead to 337, Vidarbha will need to quickly wrap up the tail on the final morning and then bat out of their skins if they are to achieve an unlikely outright win and reach the semis.