N. Jagadeesan went from strength to strength as Tamil Nadu amassed 424 in its first innings on the second day of its Ranji Trophy Group B clash against Saurashtra at the SCA stadium on Thursday. In reply, the hosts were 107 for three at close.
The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman, who had revived the visitors’ innings along with Sai Kishore on day one, continued the good work in the company of M. Mohammed. Jagadeesan, 61 overnight, kept the scoreboard moving with a combination of well-run singles and twos, and boundaries. When he completed his century off 200 balls, the Coimbatore player must have felt elated and relieved as he has had a quiet season so far.
With partner Mohammed displaying solid defence and a stout heart, Jagadeesan stitched together a crucial 115-run stand for the eighth wicket. The former scored 42 off 121 deliveries with seven fours.
Just when things seem to be slipping away from Saurashtra, captain and left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat applied the brakes with a brilliant over. He ended Mohammed’s resistance and also sent back M. Siddharth off the next delivery.
Even as the Saurashtra players were celebrating Unadkat’s five-wicket haul, Jagadeesan began to chalk out his next move. Realising that he was running out of partners — in fact, he had only one left (K. Vignesh) — Jagadeesan decided to shift gears and employ the long handle.
What followed was a scintillating exhibition of strokeplay as Jagadeesan put the Saurashtra attack to the sword, hitting fours and sixes at will. Even Unadkat and left-arm spinner Dharmendrasinh Jadeja were not spared as they faced the fury of his blade. Jagadeesan galloped from 100 to 183 off just 56 balls, adding 66 for the final wicket with Vignesh whose contribution was five!
Vignesh had the best seat in the house — non-striker’s end — to watch Jagadeesan decimate the Saurashtra attack. Just as he looked on course for a double hundred, Unadkat had him caught off his own bowling to finish with a six-wicket haul. As he trooped off, Jagadeesan received a big round of applause not only from his teammates, but also the Saurashtra players.
With a big score on the board, there was a spring in the Tamil Nadu bowlers’ step. They removed the openers, Harvik Desai and Kishan Parmar, with just 45 on the board. While pacer Vignesh accounted for the former, left-arm spinner Sai Kishore dismissed the latter.
The other left-armer, Siddharth, sent back Vishvaraj Jadeja with debutant Jaganath Sinivas pulling off a good catch. It was left to Avi Barot (38) and Arpit Vasavada (11) to ensure that there was no further damage.