Vijay slams first ton of season after TN take big lead
Mumbai: India discard Murali Vijay struck his first century of the season as Tamil Nadu took a huge first innings lead over Mumbai and then more than doubled it by stumps on day three of the four-day Ranji Trophy semifinal.
By close, the visiting team - who packed off the last four Mumbai batsmen in short shrift in the first session to take a 202-run lead - were ahead by 422 runs after making 220 for four with opener Vijay unconquered on 103, his ninth first class hundred, at the Wankhede Stadium.
Giving company to Vijay, who started off in attacking manner before slowing down considerably after the fall of three wickets, was first-innings centurion Ramaswamy Prasanna (1) as Tamil Nadu shut and bolted the escape hatch on 39-time champions Mumbai.
The slim chance Mumbai had after conceding the first innings lead in the morning, by being bowled out for a paltry 157 when replying to TN`s 359, were to dismiss Tamil Nadu cheaply in the second essay and go for an outright victory.
But Vijay, who has batted for 12 minutes over six hours and faced 210 balls while striking 15 fours and a six off Ramesh Powar, and Abhinav Mukund (42) put on a breezy stand of 90 in just over 20 overs to dash Mumbai`s hopes.
Though TN lost three wickets in 12 overs later in moving to 134, Vijay and K Sri (36 in 138 minutes) batted in a sedate fashion and lasted as a pair till the last few overs when the left handed Vasudevadas departed. By then the visitors` lead was in excess of 400.
In the morning, Mumbai resumed at 121 for six and lost the remaining four wickets in 68 minutes to concede the lead.
For Tamil Nadu, captain Laxmipathy Balaji emerged as the top wicket taker with 4 for 28, while V Yo Mahesh (3 for 63), J Kaushik (2 for 34) and Aushik Srinivas (1 for 18) were the other successful bowlers.