Mukund, Aparajith steady Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu finished on 181 for the loss of three wickets in 78 overs before bad light stopped play on day two of its Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy match against Haryana at the IC-Gurunanak ground here on Sunday. K.B. Arun Karthick (33 n.o.) and Dinesh Karthik (17 n.o.) were at the crease when the day’s play was called off half an hour after tea.

After winning the toss, Tamil Nadu chose to bat. The start from Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund was steady but slow, scoring at around two an over which was to be the case throughout the first session. Not many boundaries were scored — seven in all — and on those occasions when the ball attempted to break through the inner cordon, Haryana’s fielding was tight.

The opening duo put on 42 before Vijay was caught at short mid-wicket for 24 off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who replaced Amit Mishra in the side. Baba Aparajith (42, 99b, 4x4) and Mukund (60, 169b, 6x4) upped the scoring rate marginally and added 80 for the second wicket before two wickets for 10 runs made the score 132 for three.

Second consecutive fifty

Mukund, who scored his second consecutive half-century, was bowled by Chahal off a delivery that kept low and Aparajith was snapped up by wicketkeeper Nitin Saini off part-time spinner Yatharth Tomar. In all, 99 runs were added in the second session in 36 overs, slightly more than the 76 in as many overs in the first. For Haryana, paceman Mohit Sharma was lively and bowled some short stuff to unsettle the batsman, but was unsuccessful.

Earlier, a good effort from the ground staff meant that the match started on time after heavy rain had washed out the previous day’s play.

Among the changes Tamil Nadu coach V.B. Chandrasekhar made to his starting line-up, left-arm spinner Rahil S. Shah was drafted in for Malolan Rangarajan — a move attributed to the presence of a lot of right-handers in the Haryana line-up — and Vijay Shankar came in for S. Suresh Kumar in the middle-order.

The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: A. Mukund b Yuzvendra Chahal 60, M. Vijay c Yatharth Tomar b Yuzvendra Chahal 24, B. Aparajith c Nitin Saini b Yatharth Tomar 42, K.B. Arun Karthick (batting) 33, D. Karthik (batting) 17; Extras (lb-1, nb-4): 5; Total (for three wkts. in 78 overs): 181.

Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-122, 3-132.

Haryana bowling: Mohit Sharma 13-4-17-0, Harshal Patel 14-5-25-0, Joginder Sharma 13-3-24-0, Yuzvendra Chahal 24-3-74-2, Jayant Yadav 12-2-34-0, Yatharth Tomar 2-0-6-1.

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