Subramaniam Badrinath’s unbeaten 123 and his unbroken 200-run stand for the sixth-wicket with C. Ganapathy (70 batting) rescued Tamil Nadu on day one of the four-day Ranji Trophy Super League Group ‘A’ match against Mumbai at the MCA Recreation Centre ground (Bandra Kurla Complex) on Tuesday.
Badrinath’s classy knock at No. 4 guided Tamil Nadu to a healthy-looking 251 for five in 90 overs. He converted adversity into an opportunity, kept calm as the top five batsmen fell with just 51 on the board.
Mumbai took the new ball in the 85th over, allowing its fast bowlers another fling at the TN batsman, one of domestic cricket’s sterling performers. Badrinath had earlier danced down the track for a stunning straight six off the experienced Ramesh Powar to bring up his hundred off 217 balls and was in control till the end. He has hit 10 boundaries and four sixes in his 242-ball knock.
Badrinath handled the bowling on his own terms, stepping out to hit straight sixes off left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla and off-spinner Powar. Ganapathy gained in confidence and picked up the length early for runs in the cover region. His knock contains 10 fours and one six.
The initial 15 overs belonged to Mumbai. Dhawal Kulkarni proved more than a handful with his bounce and swing, while Usman Malvi cramped the batsmen with movement off the pitch. C. Ganapathy was the first to fall in the 11th over, surprised by an outswinger from Kulkarni and was caught behind.
The TN captain lasted 31 balls and hit two boundaries after opting to bat. Fellow opener Abhinav Mukund joined him two overs later, jabbing away from his body to Kulkarni and Vinayak Samant took his second catch.
Malvi joined the act with two wickets off consecutive balls forcing Ganapathy to stave off a hat-trick. Arun Karthik was trapped in front, while S. Anirudha, who was enticed with a rising delivery, reacted late and Kulkarni at fine leg completed the regulation catch. Suresh Kumar was Malvi’s third victim, nailed off the first ball faced.
Wicket eases out
Ganapathy and Badrinath did the fire-fighting thereafter. The duo was helped by the wicket easing out as the day wore on, forcing Mumbai to bring the spinners into play. The former played a supporting role, allowing Badrinath to tame the attack in his own organised way.
Earlier, Mumbai opted for Malvi over Avishkar Salvi to operate the new ball in Ajit Agarkar’s absence.
The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: A Mukund c Samant b Kulkarni 15, M. Vijay c Samant b Kulkarni 19, A. Karthik lbw b Malvi 1, S. Badrinath (batting) 123, S. Anirudha c Kulkarni b Malvi 12, Suresh Kumar lbw b Malvi 0, C. Ganapathy (batting) 70; Extras (nb-4, lb-7): 11. Total (for five wkts. in 90 overs): 251.
Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-37, 3-37, 4-51, 5-51.
Mumbai bowling: Kulkarni 18-5-46-2, Malvi 19-2-67-3, Powar 21-2-63-0, Nayar 10-2-22-0, Abdulla 22-8-46-0.