Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
ON CLOUD NINE: Assam's R. Satish jumps for joy after having Tamil Nadu's S. Sriram caught behind on the first day of the Ranji Trophy Elite `B' match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.
The road block for Assam came in the form of the seventh wicket partnership between the left-handed duo of Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan (53, 62b, 9x4) and R. Ramkumar (73, 129b, 11x4) who added 93 precious runs in 22.5 overs. Then Ramkumar raised 54 for the eighth wicket in 17.5 overs with C. Ganapathy before perishing in the penultimate over of the day, picked up at deep mid-wicket by Kiran Powar off seamer R. Satish.
Earlier in the day, opener Dinesh Kaarthick made a distinct impression with his compact ways at the crease, and his 71 (138b, 10x4) included some fine cuts and drives. However, the Tamil Nadu batting lacked application for the most part against an Assam attack that was disciplined but was not threatening.
Assam captain Sukhwinder Singh's decision to put Tamil Nadu in might have been influenced by a tinge of green on the surface, but then it was not a pitch where the ball seamed and bounced all day.
There was some help for the new ball combination of R.K. Yadav and Gautam Dutta in the morning, but the wicket eased out as the day progressed. And it was a non regular paceman Satish, who emerged the most successful bowler for Assam with three for 33.
Satish, who used his shoulder well, snared No. 3 S. Sriram with a short rising delivery outside the off-stump, at which the left-hander unwisely slashed, had S. Badrinath caught in the slips with a delivery that moved away, and removed R. Ramkumar with the second new ball, the batsman succumbing to a pull stroke.
Parag Das, another support seamer, chipped in with two wickets that included the vital one of the in-form S. Sharath, who was caught and bowled. Left-arm spinner R. Raghuram and off-spinner Orlan Konwar were steady, with the former managing to breach Kaarthick's defence.
The brightest phase of the day for the home side was when Vidyut and Ramkumar batted positively, driving pleasingly through the off-side. Pace bowler Tamilkumaran is making his debut for Tamil Nadu in this match.
The scoreboard: Tamil Nadu Ist innings: S. Suresh lbw b G. Dutta 14; D. Kaarthick b R. Raghuram 71; S. Sriram c Z. Zukri b R. Satish 19; S. Badrinath c S. Saikia b R. Satish 1; S. Sharath c & b P. Das 14; S. Viswanathan c R. Satish b O. Konwar 13; Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan c Powar b R. Raghuram 53; R. Ramkumar c Powar b R. Satish 73; C. Ganapathy b P. Das 15; M.R. Shrinivas (not out) 0; Extras (b-9, lb-7, w-1, nb-1) 18; Total (for nine wkts.) 291.
Fall of wickets: 1-34; 2-81; 3-85; 4-113; 5-140; 6-144; 7-237; 8-291; 9-291.
Assam bowling: G. Dutta 11-1-44-1; R.K. Yadav 18-3-59-0; P. Das 12.4-2-32-2; O. Konwar 19-7-42-1; R. Satish 9-1-33-3; R. Raghuram 12-1-39-2; K. Powar 8-2-27-0.
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