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Arun, Thalaivan lead Grand Slam’s strong reply

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Openers K.B. Arun Karthick and X. Thalaivan Sargunam consolidated the advantage earned by P. Amarnath’s six-wicket haul, as Grand Slam, responding to Vijay’s 300, finished day two of the first-division semifinal match on 191 for two.

Arun (93, 144b, 14x4) and Thalaivan (63 batting, 199b, 3x4) put on 156 in 52 overs at CPT-IP on Wednesday before N. Einstein broke through.

Quick strikes

Amarnath had earlier taken two quick wickets to register his first five-for of the first-division season and reduce Vijay to 253 for eight. But Sreekumar Nair (53 n.o.) and teenager Shravan Krishnan (24) added 47 to take Vijay to 300 before it was bowled out.

In the semifinal played at ICL-Guru Nanak, N. Ajay Kudua’s century helped Jolly Rovers declare on 487 for seven against Aruna.

Kudua, an attractive batsman, had started his innings on Tuesday with an incredible, flat pull stroke for six. Resuming on his overnight score of 49, the right-hander reached 154 in 182 balls (19x4, 3x6).

Shijith shines

Aruna — without the injured S. Anirudha (964 runs in nine games) — replied with 145 for three. P. Shijith Chandran made 83 (151b, 15x4) before he was run out.

The scores (semifinals):

Jolly Rovers 487 for seven decl. in 120.1 overs (M. Vijay 41, T. Dhanasekhar 96, S. Badrinath 112, N. Ajay Kudua 154, Tinu Yohanan 47) vs. Aruna 145 for three in 56.2 overs (P. Shijith Chandran 83), at ICL-Guru Nanak.

Vijay 300 in 115.2 overs (R. Prasanna 62, S. Sharath 42, Sreekumar Nair 53 n.o., P. Amarnath six for 54) vs. Grand Slam 191 for two in 62 overs (K.B. Arun Karthick 93, X. Thalaivan Sargunam 63 batting), at CPT-IP.

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