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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ranji Update : Tamil Nadu play J&K at Natham Dindigul

Can you imagine the place where this scenic ground is located ?

When you confront someone reeling out statistics of the game and you feel like stumping him with a Q – just ask him what the format of Ranji trophy presently is >>>> ………… if you yourself are a novice, read on :  Ranji Trophy is the premier domestic tournament of the Nation, played between States (there are Cities too – Hyderabad, Bombay – UT Delhi; others Railways and Services also….)  the competition is  named after England and Sussex cricketer Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, also known as "Ranji").

At Adelaide, Cricket Australia tried to find the balance between being respectful and over the top in their tribute. They had his Test number 408 written on the field, and on the shirts, the players wore special armbands with PH on them. They made Hughes 13th man; since the Lord's Test, Hughes had often been the 13th man.  The scorecard reads :   Australia 7 for 517 dec (Smith 162*, Warner 145, Clarke 128) and 5 for 290 dec (Warner 102) beat India444 (Kohli 115, Lyon 5-134) and 315 (Kohli 141, Vijay 99, Lyon 7-152) by 48 runs

With that daring sportive declaration, Aussies gave Team India chance and at one point it was well within the grab – After 69 overs with 29 overs to go Indians were 242/2 chasing 363 …. then Murali Vijay who had played 234 balls was out lbw, just a run away from a deserved century. Indians lost their way, lost their remaining wickets in a hurry – and most of them (7) to Nathan Lyon who bowled quality offspin. Among Australian spinners, Jason Krejza picked up 12 wickets as well at Nagpur in 2008, but he conceded 358 runs in that match while Lyon gave away 286, making Lyon's figures the best by an Australian spinner against India.

The game  however, was affected by poor umpiring. While there were some sharp decisions made over the first four days, the standards slipped drastically on the fifth.  Ian Gould adjudged Shikhar Dhawan caught behind for 9, though the Mitchell Johnson bouncer had deflected off the batsman's shoulder. Marais Erasmus reprieved Vijay twice and once Kohli – but was cruel on Ajinkya Rahane declaring  caught at short leg, though Lyon's offbreak  bounced off the top of the front pad. Whatever, it be, India squandered a match that was given on a platter, despite being outplayed in all the earlier 4 days.

Natham, a tiny ancient trade town is situated in the Dindigul District of Southern Tamil Nadu and is equidistant from the Lock city of Dindigul and Temple City of Madurai. You may be surprised to read that a Ranji match is being played here today.  I had earlier posted about Tamil Nadu’s humiliation by Karnataka at Bangalore (82 all out in the 4th innings)  and at Wankhede, history was created as Mumbai lost to Jammu.  The J&K players were ecstatic that Tendulkar also posed for photographs with the team in the Wankhede Stadium dressing room. Many players even took his autographs on their bats. Tendulkar then told them that after humbling the domestic giants, their sole aim should be to win the Ranji Trophy.

Tamil Nadu plays J&K at Dingidul today. Dindigul is the administrative headquarters  and is located 420 km (260 mi) southwest of the state capital, Chennai and 100 km (62 mi) away from Tiruchirappalli.  This ancient settlement was ruled at different times by the Early Pandyan Kingdom, the Medieval Cholas, Pallava dynasty, the later Pandyas, the Madurai Sultanate, the Dindigul Sultanates, the Vijayanagara Empire, the Madurai Nayak Dynasty, Chanda Sahib, the Carnatic kingdom and the British. Dindigul has a number of historical monuments, the Rock Fort being the most prominent.

The 2014–15 Ranji Trophy is the 80th season of the Ranji Trophy, the premier first-class cricket tournament in India. It is being contested by 27 teams divided into three groups of nine teams each. The top three teams from Groups A and B advance to the quarterfinals along with the top two teams from Group C. Karnataka are the defending champions, having won the 2013–14 season.  In the Group A – the 9 teams in fray are : Karnataka; Bengal; Mumbai; Railways; Uttar Pradesh; Baroda; Tamil Nadu; Jammu & Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh.

The ground that you saw at the start of this post is NPR College, Natham, Dindigul, where the Ranji match between TN & JK is played.  Dindigul is famous for locks which are manufactured  as a co-operative sector. Locks manufactured in Dindigul are sold in national and international markets. The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, through its research officers wing, has obtained geographical indication for Dindigul locks.  Chinnalapatti silk, a brand of silk saree is produced out of Chinnalapatti located 11 km (6.8 mi) from Dindigul.

At Dindigul today, Prasanna won the toss, elected to bat, saw wickets regularly falling and at one stage were 144/7, mini-recovery to 193/8 and finally to 254 – thanks to a brilliant innings by office Malolan Rangarajan’s breezy 93 off 75 with 14 fours and 3 sixers.  At stumps on day 1, J&K were 28/3…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Dec 2014.
photo credit : NPR college web

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