Tamil Nadu make Ranji final for 11th time

Mumbai: Tamil Nadu entered the Ranji Trophy final for the eleventh time by virtue of having taken the first-innings lead over Mumbai in the semi-final that ended in a draw at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

The visitors, who led the home team by 202 runs in the first innings, piled on the agony on their long-time nemesis by notching up 331 for eight before declaring the second innings in the pre-lunch session.

Left with the improbable victory target of 534 in 44 overs, 39-time winners Mumbai made 88 for three in 29 overs before the match was called off by mutual consent.

With this, Tamil Nadu, who recorded their third straight success over Mumbai in as many seasons, advanced to the five-day final against defending champions Rajasthan (who had ousted them in the semis in 2010-11), to be held in Chennai from January 19.

Tamil Nadu have won the crown twice and finished runners-up on eight occasions while Rajasthan, who defeated Haryana in the other semi-final, grabbed the title for the first time when they beat Baroda in the final last season.

The last day`s proceedings were bereft of any competitive interest after Tamil Nadu had bowled out Mumbai, who had got the better of them on 18 out of 22 previous clashes, for a meagre 157 yesterday in reply to their own first-innings tally of 359. They then made 220 for four in the second innings by stumps to lead by 422 runs.

The visitors continued to grind Mumbai bowlers this morning after Murali Vijay, 103 overnight, and first-innings centurion Ramaswamy Prasanna, who was declared the man of the match, resumed.