Natarajan bowls Tamil Nadu to victory over Kerala in Ranji Trophy

Tamil Nadu registered its first win of the season, beating Kerala by 151 runs on Sunday in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group ‘B’ match at the MA Chidambaram stadium here.
Natarajan bowls Tamil Nadu to victory over Kerala in Ranji Trophy
TN players celebrate after defeating Kerala by 151 runs at the MAC Stadium

Chennai

The victory and six points renewed Tamil Nadu’s hopes after the team had logged only five points from four matches prior to the Kerala game. It is now at fifth place in the standings with 11 points. Kerala is second in the group on 13 points behind Madhya Pradesh (18).

Needing 369 to win its third match, Kerala was bowled out for 217 despite half-centuries from Sanju Samson (91) and Sijomon Joseph (55). The two added 93 runs for the third wicket to defy the Tamil Nadu bowlers, who were on the lookout for breakthroughs.

Resuming at 27 for 1 this morning, Kerala lost K B Arun Karthick for 33 to a catch by N Jagadeesan off Sai Kishore’s bowling.

The partnership between Samson and Sijomon Joseph, who showed great resolve, raised Kerala’s hopes of pulling off a draw. Left-arm medium-pacer T Natarajan, who was the star for the home side in the second innings picking up five wickets, broke through by getting Joseph leg-before.

None of the other batsmen showed any resistance as Natarajan triggered the collapse and sealed an important and much-needed win for Tamil Nadu.

The triumphant home team skipper, B Indrajith, was delighted with the way his team fought on the final day.

“This is a significant win. The way Kerala batted in the first session, I thought they would go for a win. To be able to come back from that situation means a lot,” said the 24-year-old.

Indrajith reserved high praise for left-arm pacer T Natarajan. “He (Natarajan) bowled an excellent spell, particularly in the second session. It’s never easy to take two or three wickets in one spell. With his two quick wickets in the post-lunch session, it gave me the confidence that we could go for a win. There is something in this wicket for the fast bowlers. Even in the previous match, Bengal’s Ishan Porel and TN’s M Mohammed were impressive,” added Indrajith, who scored two half-centuries in the match.

Another bowler who received praise from the TN skipper was his younger twin, B Aparajith, who took the crucial wicket of Sanju Samson. “Aparajith was extracting good bounce and made the ball turn as well bringing the forward short-leg fielder into play.”

Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 268 and 252 for 7 declared beat Kerala 152 and 217 in 89 overs (Sijomon Joseph 55, Sanju Samson 91; T Natarajan 5/41) by 151 runs. Points: Tamil Nadu: 6; Kerala: 0.

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