Ranji Trophy: Karthik, Shankar virually ensure semifinal berth for TN
Dinesh Karthik (64) and Vijay Shankar (82) hit half-centuries to ward off a scare caused by an inspired spell by S S Bandiwar (3/31), to virtually ensure a semifinal berth for Tamil Nadu on the fourth day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal clash against Vidarbha here on Thursday.
Jaipur: Dinesh Karthik (64) and Vijay Shankar (82) hit half-centuries to ward off a scare caused by an inspired spell by S S Bandiwar (3/31), to virtually ensure a semifinal berth for Tamil Nadu on the fourth day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal clash against Vidarbha here on Thursday.
Tamil Nadu, who scored 403 in the first innings, today bundled out Vidarbha for 259 in their first essay to take 144-run lead.
In their second innings, Tamil Nadu reached 193 for six at the close of play, and increased their overall lead to 337 runs with four wickets still remaining.
At stumps on the penultimate day, M Rangarajan (3) and B Indrajith (6) were at the crease.
Earlier, resuming on 206 for six, Vidarbha could add just 53 more runs to their overnight total before getting all out, to concede a huge first-innings lead.
For Tamil Nadu, A Ashwin Crist (3/56) and M Rangarajan (3/42) were the pick of the bowlers.
Medium pacer Bandiwar did raise Vidarbha's hopes of making a comeback into the game as he jolted Tamil Nadu in second innings by reducing them to 26 for three, but wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik and first-innings centurion Shankar sealed their fate.
Bandiwar removed Murali Vijay (16) and Baba Aprajit (0) with second and sixth ball of his second over, and then saw off Abhinav Mukund (1), to sent shivers down the Tamil Nadu camp.
However, riding on Karthik's knock that came off 107 balls with 10 hits to the fence and Shankar's 82 off 146 deliveries, studded with nine fours and three sixes, Tamil Nadu came out of not just a tricky situation but also open up their chances of an outright win.
After the two batsmen got out, R Prasanna (17) went on for a while, but just before the close of play, he also got out. But by then Tamil Nadu had already gained an upper hand with an overall lead of over 300 runs and few wickets in hand.
Tamil Nadu: 403 & 193 for six in 73 overs (Dinesh Karthik 62, Vijay Shankar 82; SS Bandiwar 3/31)
Vidarbha: 259 all out in 105.2 overs (A Ashwin Crist 3/56, M Rangarajan 3/42).