Tamil Nadu and Karnataka played out a thriller in the fifth round of Ranji Trophy 2024 as the hosts hung on for a draw after showing steely resolve with the bat at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Chasing a mammoth 355 in the final innings, Karnataka were expected to bundle out Tamil Nadu on Day 4, especially after having bowled out the hosts for 151 in the first innings.
However, Tamil Nadu threatened to pull off a sensational win only to eventually fall short of the target by 17 runs. Tamil Nadu needed 31 off 21 when they had two set batters in former captain Baba Indrajth and all-rounder Vijay Shankar. However, Indrajith’s unfortunate run-out at the non-striker’s end, in the last 30 minutes of the final day’s play at Chepauk stalled Tamil Nadu’s push for what could have been a sensational victory.
Karnataka took a first-innings lead of 211 runs and would rue the missed opportunity for a victory. After posting 366 in the first innings, Karnataka imploded in the second innings, managing just 139.
Tamil Nadu finished with 338 for 8 as they played for a draw only in the last 10 minutes of the day’s play after having pushed for the victory from the start of the final day’s play. The faithful crowd that turned up to watch Ranji Trophy action between the two traditional rivals on Monday was treated to an edge-of-the-seat thriller. Incidentally, the classic between the South Indian rivals was served up on legendary Gundappa Viswanath’s 75th birthday.
Tamil Nadu rode on Pradosh Ranjan Paul’s 74 and Baba Indrajith’s sensational 98 on the final day to deny Karnataka an outright win. Vijay Shankar hit 60 off 107 balls before he was dismissed in the third last over of the day when he switched gears to try and take Tamil Nadu past the finish line.
Captain R Sai Kishore was unbeaten on 7 and spinner Ajith Ram S on 5 when the two teams decided to shake hands and settle for a draw.
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