Ranji Trophy final: Tamil Nadu stare at defeat after Karnataka's Karun Nair hits record 328

  • Firoz Mirza, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2015 19:03 IST

When defending champions Karnataka decided against declaration on Day 3 despite a huge first innings lead of 484 in their Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, the message was loud and clear.

They wanted to give their unbeaten batsman Karun Nair an opportunity to become the top scorer in the final of India's premier domestic tournament.

Only 10 runs shy of the record, Nair, who resumed Day 4's play on 310, achieved the feat in the first half-an-hour and even departed within the first hour of play on Wednesday.

It was a flick down backward square leg that made Nair the highest scorer in a Ranji Trophy final, breaking the 68-year-old record held by Gul Mohammad.

But the holders continued their exploits with the bat despite Nair's dismissal on 328, making the Ranji final a drab affair.

It will be a mere formality when play resumes on the final day as Tamil Nadu are done and dusted and Karnataka have sealed the deal to retain the coveted trophy.

Also, it certainly does not augur well for the game, especially the domestic cricket scene that hardly catches eyeballs despite India being a cricket crazy nation.

The Vinay Kumar-led side were eventually bowled out for 762 runs post lunch, but by then, they had already consumed more than half of the day's play (194 minutes out of 360).

Given the fact that Tamil Nadu are three down for 113 with 515 runs needed to write off the lead, Karnataka might well be in a position to bowl out their opponents on Thursday with 360 minutes of play at their disposal. But even the outright victory will look farcical given the way the summit clash has transpired.

Nair, with an individual score of 328, has registered his name in the record books. Vinay also got his century, the second of his first class career, while S Aravind managed to get some runs to his name with a brisk fifty but killing the contest for the sake of records could never be justified.

Pacer Aravind though defended the move, saying the team wanted to give under-performing batsmen the chance to come good with the bat.

"We were thinking (of the declaration), but the batsmen who have not performed, they were going for the big hundreds, so we thought to just go with it," was Aravind's logic.

"We tried to seize the game, we took it session by session and wanted to seal the innings. That is what we were trying to do, but it couldn't happen because we lost wickets," he added.

The pacer however asserted that Karnataka will go all out on Thursday to fetch an outright win.

His logic may stand true as far his teammates' interests were concerned but sucking life out of the game in the quest for records defies any logic.

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