Chennai: Tamil Nadu batsmen led by senior batsman Dinesh Karthik batted responsibly in the second innings as they are on the verge clinching a knock-out berth of the Ranji Trophy requiring only 83 runs to win against Bengal in last group league encounter here on Tuesday.
Tamil Nadu, who were shot out for 85 in their first innings conceding 45 run first innings lead came back strongly to again decimate Bengal for 139 in their second essay.
Needing 185 runs to win, Karthik remained unbeaten on 56 and added 72 runs with Mukund to lay the foundation of an improbable win which looked a distant reality when they were shot out for 85 in the morning.
The win which will probably be achieved by Tamil Nadu in the first session tomorrow will take their points tally to 24 and will see them through as the third team from group B.
Saurashtra despite their win are on 22 points and Baroda will need an outright win as they are in a position to concede three points to Rajasthan.
In the morning, Tamil Nadu starting their day at 66 for six, were all out for 85 with offie Arnab Nandi taking four for 9 and left-arm spinner Iresh Saxena getting three for 33.
However Bengal's batting flopped once again as Malolan Rangarajan and Rahil Shah again wreaked havoc. This time Shah got six wickets (6/64) while Rangarajan took four (4/48).
Interestingly both spinners completed their 10-wicket hauls in the match.
Only skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who smashed 46 off 25 balls with five fours and two sixes used his feet to perfection while dealing with a square turner. Left-handed Sudeep Chatterjee also batted responsibly scoring 39 off 82 balls with three boundaries.
While the two scored 85 runs between them and also added 58 runs for the fifth wicket, the others like Subhamoy Das, Abhimanyu Easwaran failed to make any impact. Nine Bengal batsmen scored 54 runs between them with eight of them gailing to reach double figures. When Tamil Nadu wins tomorrow, it will be a good comeback for a deserving team.
Brief Scores: Bengal 130 & 139 (LR Shukla 46, Malolan Rangarajan 4/48, Rahil Shah 6/64)
Tamil Nadu 85 (Arnab Nandi 4/9) & (target 185) 102/1 (Dinesh karthik 56 batting).