New Delhi: Wickets early in the morning and after tea on day three put Delhi on top in their Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu here at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Monday.
Having lost three wickets in the morning and the last six collapsing for just 39 runs after tea, Tamil Nadu were bowled out for 226 and asked to follow on still 329 runs behind Delhi's first innings score of 555 for 4 declared. Following on, TN reached 2 for no loss in 2 overs.
Parvinder Awana with 4 for 53 and Pawan Suyal 3 for 76 starred with the ball for Delhi in the first innings. Vikas Mishra (1 for 39), Sumeet Narwal (1 for 35) and Rajat Bhatia (1 for 13) were the other wicket-takers.
Resuming at 31 for 1 on Monday, Tamil Nadu lost Baba Aparajith (25) on the first ball of the day bowled by Suyal. He chose to play a stroke first up and paid for it with a nick straight to Shikhar Dhawan in the slips. Arun Karthik's dismissal then 14 runs later made the TN balcony nervous. He was out lbw to Awana missing the line of a ball that seamed in.
But with S Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik together, TN had their best men at the crease for a repair job. Narwal, though, didn't allow that and sent the prolific Badrinath back for just 19 to reduce TN to 79 for 4.
Left-arm spinner Mishra was brought on in the 38th over of the innings, which gave some respite to the batsmen who took the score to 110 for 4 at lunch with Dinesh Karthik looking solid at 39* and R Prasanna 15*.
The afternoon session belonged to the visitors. Dinesh Karthik, having reached his 50 off 85 balls after lunch, had no trouble against the Delhi attack. The drives and cuts became fluent and his impact rubbed onto the left-hander Prasanna. TN 150 came up soon, followed by Prasanna registering his half century – a cover-driven four off Suyal.
A concerned looking 79 for 4 was by now resurrected to 187 for 4 at tea, courtesy the 108-run unbeaten stand between Dinesh Karthik and Prasanna. However, they couldn't add a run to that figure after tea.
The dependable Bhatia struck first ball after tea to remove Prasanna for 58. Just like Arun Karthik, he tried to cut the opening ball after resumption and Mohit Sharma in second slip pouched the edge safely. Two runs later, it was the turn of Dinesh Karthik to walk back. At 75 and looking good for a hundred, he missed the drive after being drawn out of his crease by Mishra. The ball ricocheted off wicketkeeper Puneet Bisht's pads to dislodge the bails. Tamil Nadu were 189 for 6 at that stage.
At 3:30 pm in the evening, the Kotla breeze returned, prompting Dhawan to take the new ball straight after 80 overs. Awana was entrusted with the job and delivered with the first ball, removing Malolan Rangarajan lbw for just 4, and then castled TN skipper L Balaji to make it 220 for 8. Suyal then polished off the last two wickets of Yo Mahesh (23) and Aushik Sreenivas (4), getting both of them caught off wicketkeeper Bisht.