M Mohammed was the best bowler for Tamil Nadu, picking up 3 for 102 while K Vignesh and Rahil Shah scalped two each.
Abhinav Mukund loves to play freely but on a low turning track it becomes increasingly difficult. But the Tamil Nadu star stood the test in a brave manner to score an unbeaten 101 (239b, 15×4) against Hyderabad on the penultimate day of their Ranji Trophy match at the Sankar Cements grounds here on Wednesday.
He knows it is not enough as there is a bigger task ahead of scoring over 400 runs on the final day. But Abhinav wants to see how the first session goes and plan thereafter.
“If we have wickets in hand then anything can happen,” he said and was quick to add that he would have loved to play on the this track on the first day.
Earlier, Hyderabad, after adding 42 runs, declared at 565 for eight well inside the first hour. Skipper Akshath Reddy, who had battled hard for over two days, finally chanced his arm to paceman Mohammed only to spoon a catch to Abhinav at long on.
Chasing a mammoth total for a first innings lead, Tamil Nadu openers Kaushik and Abhinav started on a very positive note. They knew they had to give a good start to turnaround the team’s fortunes. And, they did that by stitching a partnership of 80 before left-arm pacer Milind removed Kaushik. The latter read the line wrong and saw the ball kissing his off-stump.
A few overs later, Milind struck again with a low full toss which Aparajith played back to the bowler. It was a difficult chance but Milind lunged forward to take the catch.
With two players back in the hut, it was left to skipper B. Indrajith and the free-flowing Abhinav to plug the hole. They did that by playing cautiously to help the team finish the day at 163 for two.
“It would have been nice if we had put 240 or more on board. We usually play at three runs an over but it was difficult to score off the spinners as the ball was keeping low. Our square shots were going straight to the fielder, Also, we were not able to time the ball but I am satisfied to have come out unbeaten at the end,” said Abhinav.
Hyderabad — 1st innings: Tanmay Agarwal c Jagadeesan b Mohammed 10, Akshath Reddy c Abhinav b Mohammed 250, Rohit Rayadu c Anirudh b Rahil 13, Himalay Agarwal c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 29, B. Sandeep c Aparajith b Mohammed 130, Sumanth Kolla c Jagadeesan b Vignesh 5, Akash Bhandari b Varun 17, Saaketh c Jagadeesan b Rahil 42, C.V. Milind (not out) 33, Mehdi Hasan (not out) 14; Extras (nb-1, w-11, b-8, lb-2): 22; Total (for eight wkts. decl. in 186 overs): 565.
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-54, 3-113, 4-359, 5-375, 6-397, 7-506, 8-538.
TN bowing: Vignesh 30-1-102-2, Mohammed 31-5-102-3, Varun 39-8-105-1, Rahil 43-8-109-2, Aparajith 15-1-53-0, Kousik 17-3-50-0, Kaushik 9-0-24-0, Anirudh 2-0-10-0.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: Kaushik Gandhi b Milind 21, Abhinav Mukund (batting) 101, B. Aparajith c & b Milind 4, B. Indrajith (batting) 24; Extras (nb-2, lb-11): 13; Total (for two wkts. in 79 overs): 163.
Fall of wickets: 1-80, 2-94.
Hyderabad bowling: Kiran 13-3-30-0, Milind 13-6-19-2, Mehdi 20-8-25-0, Akash 16-6-46-0, Saaketh 14-1-28-0, Sandeep 2-0-4-0, Tanmay 1-1-0-0.