EliteB-Rd6-Day4

Mohali: Punjab gained three points as Tamil Nadu held firm for a draw on the final day of the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 Elite Group ‘B’ match on Monday.

Faced with a massive deficit of 264 runs, the visitors saw skipper Baba Indrajith (93), Dinesh Karthik (74) and Vijay Shankar (51 not out) get among the runs to defy the Punjab bowlers and finish the day at 383 for 6.

The result meant Tamil Nadu, now on 12 points, is almost out of contention for a berth in the knockout phase. Punjab also has the same number of points, but has played one game less.

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Five teams from Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ put together will advance to the quarterfinals, based on the number of points accrued.

On a track that was easier to bat as the game wore on, the Tamil Nadu batsmen made sure the home side did not get the opening they were seeking in the quest for a win and also six points.

Resuming at the overnight score of 166 for 3, Indrajith and nightwatchman Sai Kishore (9, 54 balls) added 23 more runs in the first hour before the latter was trapped leg-before wicket by Abhishek Sharma.

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Karthik, who came in at the fall of Kishore, brought his experience to the fore and strung together an useful 72-run stand for the fifth wicket with Indrajith. Both the batsmen negotiated the rival bowlers with a degree of comfort and Tamil Nadu cut down the home team’s lead.

Indrajith hit some delightful shots, while Karthik was his usual bustling self, hammering the loose deliveries and also running well.

The Tamil Nadu captain looked good to get his ninth first-class century before he was unlucky to be run-out when a shot by Karthik deflected off bowler Sandeep Sharma’s hand onto the stumps, leaving Indrajith short of his crease.

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Karthik was then involved in a 101-run stand with Vijay Shankar during which they hit quite a few boundaries and played with self-assurance.

Karthik fell to a good catch by Baltej Singh at mid-on when he failed to keep down a drive to give Sandeep Sharma his second wicket.

With a result unlikely, the match was then called off with 15 overs to go. Young Shubman Gill was named man of the match for his brilliant knock of 268. Punjab replied with 479 after Tamil Nadu made 215 in the first innings.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 215 & 383/6 (B Indrajith 93, Dinesh Karthik 74) versus Punjab 479 ends in a draw