S. Badrinath’s chanceless, unbeaten knock of 101 (257m, 190b, 14x4, 1x6) enabled Tamil Nadu post 235 for three on a pitch that offered encouragement to the Vidarbha seamers right through the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group B league match at the VCA stadium here on Saturday.
Three superb shots off the second new ball — a cover drive and two straight drives — scored in the closing stages of the final session took him to his 29th first class century.
The in-form Dinesh Karthik (49, 147b, 8x4) gave him company for three-and-a-quarter hours and helped him lift the team score from a tricky 71 for two to 204.
Dinesh Karthik falls
Karthik looked confident of extending his stay into the second day before an expansive sweep against debutant left-arm spinner Sumit Ruikar landed him in trouble.
Tamil Nadu was lucky, though, when B. Aparajith saw wicketkeeper Urvesh Patel put down a regulation catch immediately after the home team claimed the second new ball in the 87th over.
As expected Vidarbha took the field with three seamers and elected to field on a green pitch. Left-arm seamer Shreekant Wagh was the pick of the three and he looked to create opportunities for a catch in his opening spell, while Sandeep Singh lacked speed and Amol Jungade was wayward and quite ordinary.
It was a testing time for the openers, K.B. Arun Karthik and Abhinav Mukund, who showed fine judgment in leaving deliveries pitched outside off-stump.
The left-right opening combination had almost used up 27 overs and two hours and 10 minutes before the first wicket fell when Wagh won an appeal for leg before against Arun Karthik.
Then Mukund, who had settled down to execute some pleasing shots, fell to the third ball after lunch; he played a loose shot and nicked it to the wicketkeeper. Thereafter Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik steadied the innings.
Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: K.B. Arun Karthik lbw b Wagh 26, A. Mukund c Patel b Wagh 33, S. Badrinath (batting) 101, Dinesh Karthik c Patel b Ruikar 49, B. Aparajith (batting) 11; Extras (b-9, lb-3, w-3): 15; Total (for three wkts. in 90 overs): 235.
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-71, 3-204.
Vidarbha bowling: Sandeep Singh 19-4-56-0, Wagh 23-4-57-2, Jungade 18-4-37-0, Fazal 4-1-10-0, Ruikar 19-3-42-1, Upadhyaya 7-1-21-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy