Elite Group B Day 4

Tamil Nadu suffered a nine-wicket defeat against Himachal Pradesh in a Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match on Tuesday as they crashed out of contention for the knock-out phase.

The victory, third of the season, took Himachal’s tally so far to 22 points while the visitors remained with just 12 points from seven games — four draws and two defeats and one win, failing to qualify for the knock-out phase.

The home team rattled up 111/1 to seal the win after Tamil Nadu folded up for 345 in the second innings following a middle-order collapse after centuries by Abhinav Mukund (128) and captain Baba Indrajith (106).

Resuming at the overnight score of 178/2, the onus was on Mukund and Indrajith to occupy the crease for a long period and bat HP out of the game.

However, Arpit N Guleria found the breakthrough, castling Mukund for 128 (214 balls, 20X4).

Indrajith found a resolute partner in allrounder Vijay Shankar (56, 100 balls, 5X4, 1X6) and the two were involved in a 109-run stand for the fourth wicket.

While Indrajith was his watchful self, Shankar looked to push on and never missed out on a scoring opportunity. At the lunch break, Tamil Nadu were 286/3, having added 107 runs in the first session, on the back of Shankar’s enterprising play.

Shankar reached his 50 off 89 balls but fell soon after when HP skipper Prashant Chopra had him stumped by ‘keeper Ankush Bains.

This triggered a batting collapse as the visitors capitulated from 312 to 345 all out in 118.3 overs, leaving the hosts an easy target of 110 in around 25 overs.

Guleria (3 for 56) and Rishi Dhawan (3 for 60) were the best bowlers for Himachal.

Chasing the target, Ankush Bains launched a clinical assault on the TN bowlers, hitting six fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 38-ball 64 to power Himachal home just in 15.3 overs.

The other opener Raghav Dhawan (39) was sent back by left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore while going for a big hit but Rishi Dhawan (4*) finished the game, blasting a four off Kishore.

Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 227 all out in 78.4 overs and 345 all out in 118.3 overs (Abhinav Mukund 128, B Indrajith 106, Vijay Shankar 56, Arpit Guleria 3 for 56) lost to Himachal Pradesh 463 all out in 116.2 overs and 111 for 1 in 15.3 overs (Ankush Bains 64 not out) by nine wickets