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Christmas gift for Tamil Nadu

For Tamil Nadu, the Christmas festivities came at the right time. Abhinav Mukund’s boys beat star-studded Karnataka by seven wickets in less than two days to enter Ranji semi-final. Winning their Ranji Trophy quarter-final against a star-studded Karnataka within two days at Visakhapatnam might have helped them get back here earlier than expected.

Christmas gift for Tamil Nadu
Karthik hit 41 off 30 balls


On Saturday, Abhinav Mukund’s Tamil Nadu created history of sorts when they registered a seven-wicket win, their first against Karnataka since 2003 and their first-ever in knockouts ever. If 14 wickets fell on the first day, the second produced 19, 10 for Karnataka and nine for TN. Karnataka looked like staging a fightback when they dismissed TN for 152, conceding only a 64-run lead but their second innings was not vastly different from the first. It promised much when they reached 72 for one but a middle-order collapse saw them crashing to 150 all out in no time. Opener KL Rahul was the only exception making 77, more than half of Karnataka’s second-innings score.. K Vignesh took four wickets for TN.  Chasing 87 for win, TN went through some anxious moments when they lost three wickets for 35. But Dinesh Karthik ensured it would be a two-day match with his unbeaten 41 off 30 balls. 

“It was a crucial toss. We played 10 batsmen. That’s the best we could. It was just a bad day. What are the chances of none of the ten batsmen clicking? It’s a bit of a shock for me,” said. Karnataka coach J Arunkumar. “We were probably overcautious about the wicket. When you are overcautious about something, your hand and feet don’t move well. If they would have looked for runs, like what Pandey (Manish) and Vinay did, probably we could have pushed the field back and got a few more runs,” he felt. Tamil Nadu bowlers were disciplined, felt Arun. “They were not quick but bowled in good areas. They were short of length ,” he said. Tamil Nadu’s Aswin Crist, who took six wickets in the first innings, said his haul was a result of keeping things tight and bowling consistently in the right areas. “In the initial few overs, I was bowling a bit short but I realised it was important to keep things tight to put pressure on the batsmen.

We kept just kept bowling a good line and that worked out well,” he said. Tamil Nadu bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji lauded his bowlers. “The boys have learnt the right lengths to bowl in domestic cricket. They are working well together, understanding each other and are enjoying each other’s bowling,” said the former Indian fast bowler. 

BRIEF SCORES: Karnataka 88 and 150 (KL Rahul 77, K Vignesh 4-53, Natarajan 3-40) lost to TN 152 and 87-3 ( D Karthik 41 not out)

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