Ranji Trophy: Gutsy Pradosh scores ton as Tamil Nadu eye outright win against Delhi | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Young left-hander Pradosh Ranjan Paul showed admirable character while notching up his maiden first-class ton, keeping Tamil Nadu firmly in sight of their first outright win against a circumspect Delhi on day three of the Ranji Trophy Group B game here on Thursday.
Courtesy a career-best 124 from Pradosh along with useful contributions from all-rounder Vijay Shankar (52) and tailender Aswin Crist (32), Tamil Nadu declared their first innings on 427 for 8.
Delhi lost Anuj Rawat by close of play to reach 28 for 1 and are still 96 runs behind going into the final day.
Only one team can log home full points from this game and that is Tamil Nadu, provided they can bundle out Delhi within two sessions keeping the light-factor in mind.
On three days, 76, 75.1 and 70 overs of play has been possible due to poor visibility as the light deteriorates quickly in this part of the country during the winter.
Tamil Nadu captain Baba Indrajith rightly declared even though they had a chance of stretching the lead in the region of 175 but the sporting declaration was more about keeping the time factor in mind.
“There was no plan as such. We were told to play till tea and then the light suddenly dropped so it was decided that we would declare and try to get two wickets by end of day,” Pradosh told mediapersons after the end of the day’s play.
No credit will be enough for Pradosh, who hit 16 fours in his 212-ball knock while adding 103 runs for the sixth wicket with the seasoned Vijay and another 88 for the eighth wicket with Crist.
Delhi’s inexperienced attack once again couldn’t bowl a disciplined channel for sustained periods.
Not very tall, nor muscular built, Pradosh, who had to come in at No. 7 to accommodate all the seniors, isn’t one of the most beautiful batters to watch but what stands out is his application and temperament.
He knew his hitting zones and punished the loose deliveries accordingly. It only helped that Delhi’s senior-most bowler — slow left-arm orthodox Vikas Mishra (1/111 in 32 overs) was disappointing once again.
There weren’t even 10 deliveries in his entire spell where he looked like getting a wicket, failing to extract any purchase from the track.
Paul was quick on using his feet against both Mishra and off-spinner Lalit Yadav (1/50 in 21 overs) while any delivery from the seamers drifting down leg-side were clipped with disdain.
The Delhi pacers like Harshit Rana (3/121 in 26 overs) could not use the short ball as effectively as they did on the second day while left-arm quick Kuldip Yadav (1/92 in 20 overs) got the maximum punishment. He also bowled bulk of the six no-balls in Tamil Nadu innings.
His animated celebration after getting to his first Ranji ton was a sight as he leapt in 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 as I made my debut four years back. I didn’t get to play more matches. I expected the hundred to come a little earlier but I am very happy,” a beaming Pradosh.
Brief Scores
In Delhi: Delhi 303 and 28/1 in 8 overs (Dhruv Shorey 10 batting, Washington Sundar 1/3). Tamil Nadu 1st Innings 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 Dodiya 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).
In 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 batting).

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