New Delhi: A late start due to foggy weather ended the possibility of an interesting finish in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group B match between Tamil Nadu and Delhi as the visitors had to settle for three points.
After Delhi finished their second innings on 311, Tamil Nadu were left to chase 218 in 49 overs which included the 15 mandatory overs. With precious two hours of play lost, Tamil Nadu batsmen never went for the chase as they finished at 129 for three when the match was called off after the first mandatory over.
Tamil Nadu were ensured of three points on the second day itself but Delhi`s gritty batting in the second innings opened up possibilities of an interesting finish at stumps on third day.
Starting the day at 233 for five, Pawan Negi (24) was first to be dismissed caught by Dinesh Karthik off debutant Jagannathan Kaushik.
Pint-sized wicket-keeper batsman Puneet Bisht (53, 72 balls, 8x4, 1x6) duly completed his fifth half-century in first-class cricket before he became Kaushik`s third victim as he edged one to Karthik behind stumps.
Pradeep Sangwan (27 not out) did hit some lusty blows and even Ashish Nehra (8) helped himself for a six as Delhi crossed the 300-run mark. Rival skipper Lakshmipathy Balaji (4/65) wiped off the tail while Kaushik had figures of three for 60 to show for his efforts.
With Abhinav Mukund nursing a bruised jaw, it was KB Arun Karthik (17, 43 balls) who opened with Murali Vijay (10m 16 balls). The two openers never showed any intent to go after the bowling which made evident that the match was dead as a contest.
Parwinder Awana (2/32) who bowled with a lot of heart induced an edge off Karthik, which was smartly taken by Shikhar Dhawan at second slip.
In the very next over, Vijay was back in the hut after being beaten by a direct throw from Unmukt Chand. At 35 for two, it was just mere formality as Dinesh Karthik (52, 82 balls, 9x4, 1x6) decided to close the shutters.
Young India colts player Baba Aparajith (44, 68 balls, 8x4) did play some lovely drives to get a few runs under his belt. Karthik also hit a few boundaries at the fag end --- including three off one over from left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra.
"Frankly, we never intended to chase down the target as we knew that we had to get 218 off 35 overs. As light fades quickly, we knew that we won`t get more than a couple of mandatory overs. On this track chasing 218 from 35 overs was difficult," senior player Karthik said after the match.
His skipper Balaji also spoke in the same vein terming that chasing was difficult on two-paced track like this.
Delhi skipper Mithun Manhas expressed his surprise that Tamil Nadu batsmen didn`t go for the kill.
"We didn`t expect them to put down the shutters so early. We thought they would atleast go for the chase. Let`s hope we would do better in the next match and get as many points as possible," Manhas said.
Brief Scores: Delhi 212 & 311 (Milind Kumar 58, Yogesh Nagar 56, Puneet Bisht 53, L Balaji 4/65, J Kaushik 3/60).
Tamil Nadu 306 & 129/3 (Dinesh Karthik 52, Baba Aparajith 44 batting).