Kolkata: Tamil Nadu entered the final of the Ranji Trophy cricket tournament getting the better of Maharshtra via a first innings lead in the semifinals at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
Tamil Nadu piled on a gigantic score of 549 in the first innings. Last year's runners-up Maharashtra were bowled out for 454 in their reply, conceding a 95-run lead. The first innings lead propelled Tamil Nadu to their 12th Ranji final where they will be facing Karnataka in Mumbai from March 8.
On Sunday, Maharashtra lost their last five wickets for 60 runs ending with 454, with none of the tail-enders making a notable contribution. Thus conceding the decisive first innings lead to Tamil Nadu.
It was medium pacer Vijay Shankar -- adjudged Man-of-the-Match -- who jolted the Maharashtra batting line-up. He dismissed both overnight batsmen in three balls in his first over of the day.
First to go was skipper Rohit Motwani (11) who tried to pull a short delivery from Shankar and was caught behind the wicket.
Settled Ankit Bawne (57) soon followed his skipper’s footsteps as he chased a wide delivery only managing to edge it to the slips.
Tamil Nadu’s most reliable seamer Aswin Crist came back to clean up the tail. He got rid of Anupam Sanklecha (17) and Domnic Joseph (0) and then effected the Samad Fallah (0) run out.
Tamil Nadu came out to bat in their second innings and were 119/0 at stumps.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 549 all out & 119 for no loss (Abhinav Mukund 66) vs Maharashtra 454 all out (Swapnil Gugale 154; Aswin Crist 4/89, Vijay Shankar 2/47). Tamil Nadu win via first innings lead.