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The Hindu
The Hindu
S. Dipak Ragav

Sai Kishore and Ajith Ram spin out title-holder Saurashtra for just 183

Skipper R. Sai Kishore (five for 66) led from the front for Tamil Nadu as he scalped his ninth five-wicket haul in First Class cricket to bowl out Saurashtra for 183 on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals at the Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts and Science ground here on Friday.

Sai, alongside fellow left-arm spinner Ajith Ram (three for 56), continued their dual act as they shared eight wickets between them and displayed good control over line and length on a pitch that is helping the slower bowlers.

In reply, TN finished the day on 23 for one, losing opener Vimal Khumar, bowled by Chirag Jani.

Electing to bat, Harvik Desai (84) and Sheldon Jackson got the visitors off to a strong start, hitting a flurry of boundaries despite losing opener Kevin Jivrajani in the third over of the day. Harvik was flamboyant playing cuts, flicks and a couple of crisply-timed on-drives. He also used the sweep shots against the spinners effectively.

Sai Kishore then took charge when he bowled Jackson before Ajith Ram made his presence felt by accounting for the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara.

The two left-arm spinners tied down the experienced Indian batter, bowling a probing spell from either end, giving just two runs in 22 balls. It forced Pujara to charge down to Ajith to work one through the on-side but ended up giving a simple return catch.

Harvik and Arpit Vasavada got the defending champion’s innings back on track by stitching a 54-run stand for the fourth wicket to keep TN at bay until one hour after lunch.

However, Ajith Ram once again gave the breakthrough for the hosts when he had Arpit trapped in front and then bowled the well-set Harvik with a quicker delivery that seemed to keep low to blow the game open.

Sai Kishore then quickly ran through the lower order, taking four of the last five wickets to get his second five-for this season.

The scores:

Saurashtra - 1st innings: Harvik Desai b Ajith Ram 83, Kevin Jivarajani c Jagadeesan b Warrier 0, Sheldon Jackson b Sai Kishore 22, Cheteshwar Pujara c&b Ajith Ram 2, Arpit Vasavada lbw b Ajith Ram 25, Prerak Mankad (not out) 35, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja c Vijay Shankar b Sai Kishore 0, Chirag Jani b Sai Kishore 0, Parth Bhutt c Vimal b Warrier 14, Jaydev Unadkat lbw b Sai Kishore 1, Yuvrajsinh Dodiya b Sai Kishore 0, Extras (b-1, lb-1): 2; Total (in 77.1 overs): 183

Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-52, 3-61, 4-115, 5-148, 6-149, 7-151, 8-182, 9-183

TN bowling: Warrier 13-3-41-2, Mohammed 6-2-15-0, Sai Kishore 32.1-6-66-5, Ajith Ram 24-6-56-3, Pradosh 2-0-3-0.

Tamil Nadu - 1st innings: R. Vimal Khumar b Jani 5, N. Jagadeesan (batting) 12, R. Sai Kishore (batting) 6, Total (for one wkt in 10 overs): 23

Fall of wickets: 1-9

Saurashtra bowling: Unadkat 4-1-12-0, Jani 3-2-4-1, Dharmendrasinh 2-1-1-0, Yuvrajsinh 1-0-6-0.

Toss: Saurashtra.

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