Ranji Trophy: Ashwin's bag is 5 wickets as Tamil Nadu removes Himachal Pradesh for 158

DINDIGUL: Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin starred in a five-wicket haul to help Tamil Nadu overthrow Himachal Pradesh for 158 in 71.4 overs in the opening day of Ranji Trophy Group 'B' match on Tuesday.

B Aparajith, the team leader in the absence of Vijay Shankar who was missed due to a niggle, was elected to the bowl and bowlers justified the decision as Ashwin (5 for 67) and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore ( 3 para 22) the HP batsmen in a spin.

The visiting team looked in danger of being bowled out for a sub-100 points before Akash Vashist (35, 94 balls, 4 fours) and Mayank Dagar (33, 62 balls, 3 fours) rallied to 76 for 7 to add 53 runs and lend respect to the total.

Ashwin, who gained eight wickets (four per possession) during a narrow loss to Karnataka in the opening round, did so again as he bowled gracefully to upset all batsmen.

The lanky off-spinner brings his experience to the fore and looks dangerous to every spell. He bowled in 29 overs in which six girls took five wickets.

Medium-pacer K Vignesh hits the first punch for Tamil Nadu, rejecting Prashanth Chopra for 4, caught by N Ganga Sridhar Raju.

Ashwin hit his second ball, catching Priyanshu Khanduri on the covers of Ganga Sridhar Raju.

He also sacked captain Ankit Kalsi (11), Nikhil Gangta (0) and Sumeet Varma (30) to give Tamil Nadu the advantage.

Ashwin muttered Rishi Dhawan | along with some good bowling before Sai Kishore got him.

Vashist and Dagar's fight was revived by flipping Himachal innings.

The two played cautiously and kept Ashwin&coatbaywithasoliddefensebeforevignesh(2/42)endeddagar'sfight.



shortscores:himachalpradesh158alloutin71.4overs(avashist35,mayankdagar33,sumeetvarma30; R Ashwin 5/65, R Sai Kishore 3/22) vs Tamil Nadu 8 for no loss.