NEW DELHI: Young left-hander Pradosh Ranjan Paul displayed admirable character as he landed his first class debut ton, keeping Tamil Nadu firmly in sight of their first outright win against a wary Delhi on day three of the Ranji Group B Trophy match here on Thursday.
Courtesy of a career-best 124 from Pradosh as well as helpful contributions from the all-rounder Vijay Shankar (52) and tailender Aswin Crist (32), the Tamil Nadu declared their first innings on 427 for 8.
Delhi lost Anuj Rawat late in the game to make it 28 to 1 and are still 96 points behind going into the final day.
Only one team can save all the points in this match and that is Tamil Nadu provided they can put Delhi together in two sessions keeping the light factor in mind.
Over three days, 76, 75.1 and 70 game overs were possible due to poor visibility as the light deteriorates rapidly in this part of the country during the winter.
Tamil Nadu captain Baba Indrajith rightly said even though they have a chance to extend the lead in the region of 175 but the sporting statement was more to keep the time factor in mind.
“There was no plan as such. We were told to play until tea and then the light suddenly went down so it was decided that we would declare and try to get two wickets from here the end of the day,” Pradosh told the media after the end of the day. player.
No credit will be enough for Pradosh, who hit 16 fours in his 212-ball run while adding 103 runs for the sixth wicket with the seasoned Vijay and another 88 for the eighth wicket with Crist.
Delhi’s inexperienced offense once again couldn’t topple a disciplined channel for extended periods.
Not very tall or muscular, Pradosh, who had to come in at No 7 to accommodate all the seniors, isn’t one of the prettiest hitters to watch but what stands out is his application and temperament.
He knew his strike zones and punished loose deliveries accordingly. It only helped that Delhi’s oldest bowler – slow orthodox left arm Vikas Mishra (1/111 in 32 overs) was a disappointment once again.
There weren’t even 10 deliveries in his entire spell where he looked like he was getting a wicket, failing to extract any buys from the lane.
Paul was quick to use his feet against Mishra and Lalit Yadav (1/50 in 21 overs) while any seam delivery drifting down the leg was disdainfully cut.
Delhi pacers like Harshit Rana (3/121 in 26 overs) couldn’t use the short ball as effectively as they did on day two while left-arm fast Kuldip Yadav (1/92 in 20 overs) received the maximum penalty. He also played most of the six without balls in the Tamil Nadu innings.
His spirited celebration after hitting his first ton of Ranji was a sight as he leapt into the air, pumped his fists and then held his patched U-19 India helmet aloft with his bat.
“It was a special moment for me because I made my debut four years ago. I couldn’t play more games. I expected the hundred to come a little earlier but I’m very happy,” Pradosh said, beaming.
Brief scores
In Delhi: Delhi 303 and 28/1 in 8 overs (Dhruv Shorey 10 batting, Washington Sundar 1/3). Tamil Nadu 1st inning 427/8 decl in 116 overs (PR Paul 124, Vijay Shankar 52, B Indrajith 71, B Aparajith 57, Harshit Rana 3/121).
In Mumbai: Saurashtra 289 and 220 in 52.4 overs (Dharmendra Jadeja 90, Shams Mulani 6/65). Mumbai 230 and (target 280) 218/8 (Prithvi Shaw 68, Suryakumar Yadav 38, Parth Bhut 4/56, Yuvraj Dodia 3/80).
In Hyderabad: Assam 205 and 252. Hyderabad 208 and (target 250) 228/9 (Tanmay Agarwal 123 batting, Bhavesh Seth 41, Riyan Parag 3/90).
At Vizianagaram: Maharashtra 200 and 250 in 81.1 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 63, Nitish Reddy 3/66). Andhra 211 and (target 240) 100/4 in 36 overs (Hanuma Vihari 36 at bat).



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