The big story: Tamil Nadu progress to last-four stage

Eight-time holders of the Ranji Trophy, Karnataka were humbled within two days by Tamil Nadu, who progressed to the semi-final with a seven-wicket win at Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Barring KL Rahul, none of the other batsmen could muster up a half-decent innings after Sreenath Aravind had given Karnataka a chance, bowling Tamil Nadu out for 152. Dinesh Karthik capped off his 100th Ranji Trophy match with a breezy cameo, which took his team over the line chasing 87.

Other top stories:

  • Mumbai’s Ranji players are set to take a major pay cut to reward coach, the Indian Express reported. The players have received a letter informing them that due to a “calculation error”, they had received “excess” payment as part of the bonus received after they won the Ranji Trophy title last last season. The letter added that the sum would be deducted from their logo sponsorship income. It later emerged that the cuts were being made to compensate coach Chandrakant Pandit. The players are now set to lose up to Rs 2 lakh each as recovery for the excess amount paid.
  • The Melbourne Cricket Ground curator has warned batsmen to be careful on the unpredictable wicket ahead of Monday’s Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan. David Sandurski said early aggression could prove costly for batsmen on the wicket. He said the MCG wickets this season have tended to assist new-ball bowlers citing a Sheffield Shield game played at the venue earlier this month. “It (wicket) had a little bit in it early for the quicks but, after that first session, it settled down,” Sandurski said. “It became a bit of a new-ball wicket and then took a little bit of turn towards the end of the game and getting a little bit inconsistent with the bounce.”
  • India’s U-19 Asia Cup winning captain Abhishek Sharma has credited coach Rahul Dravid for giving the side a vital tip during the final of the Asian championship,the Hindustan Times reported. The 16-year-old said Dravid instructed him to bowl at a crucial juncture in the match as Sri Lanka’s openers were in cruise control while chasing India’s target of 273. During the drinks break, Dravid is reported to have instructed Abhishek to introduce himseld in the attack. Abhishek soon got the breakthrough. “Rahul sir was rightly called the “Wall”. He has a tremendous cricketing brain. His pat after the final was a gift. He doesn’t express much,” Abhishek said.
  • Virat Kohli has revealed his New Year resolution through an an open letter to his fans, which urges them to take risks and not fear failure. “Here’s my mantra for the New Year. I will do what I have always done — follow my instincts and make my own choices...Kyunki, kise pata kal hum kaun si manzil, kaun se mukaam paayenge? Par ek baat zaroor hai - agar bold nahin khelenge toh kabhi na jaan paayenge (Because, who knows where we will be tomorrow and what we would accomplish? Only one thing is certain. If we don’t play bold, we will never find out),” Kohli wrote in a letter on social media.