Powered by Dinesh Karthik’s exceptional hundred and a well-made maiden Ranji century from Baba Aparajith (112, 255b, 11x4, 1x6), Tamil Nadu declared its first innings at 538 for four on the second day of the Ranji Trophy Group `B’ match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, leaving Karnataka 42 minutes of batting.
The visitor was 26 without loss at stumps. Robin Uthappa was on 18 and K.B. Pawan on five.
The day belonged to Karthik. He does possess that precious ability to create scoring opportunities.
Karthik has made a technical adjustment that has enhanced the quality of his batsmanship. Earlier, his trigger movement forward was a bit delayed that saw him play a lot of deliveries to the point area.
Now his trigger movement forward — without committing himself on to the front foot — is in harmony with the release of the ball.
Consequently, he is playing more between mid-off and mid-on with a straighter blade.
Of course, he can be destructive with his horizontal bat shots — the cut and the pull — if the delivery is lacking in length. Karthik also innovated, whipping the ball with élan past mid-wicket.
Given his ability to disrupt the length of the spinners with his sweep, Karnataka had a short third man and a short fine leg to check the stroke. Yet, Karthik swept and reverse swept for boundaries with delectable placements.
His struck three sixes off Raju between mid-wicket and long-on but was also fortunate that ‘keeper Gautam fluffed a stumping off the same bowler when on 86.
In a right-left combination that harried the Karnataka attack, Karthik and R. Prasanna (74, 165b, 4x4, 1x6) added 200 in an unbroken fifth wicket partnership in 48.3 overs.
Prasanna, a southpaw, punched and drove capably on the off-side. He does provide solidity to Tamil Nadu’s lower middle-order.
Earlier, S. Badrinath (72, 188b, 5x4, 1x6) was picked up at short leg off by Pawan off Raju ending a 177-run third-wicket (off 64.2 overs) association with Aparajith.
The little Aparajith completed a century he would cherish for long but attempted a heave off left-arm spinner K.P. Appanna to be stumped.
Tamil Nadu — 1st Innings: A. Mukund c Gautam b Raju 51, A. Karthick lbw Satish 50, B. Aparajith st Gautam b Appanna 112, S. Badrinath c Pawan b Raju 72, D. Karthik (not out) 154, R. Prasanna (not out) 74, Extras (b-18, lb-4, nb-2, w-1): 25; Total (decl. for four wkts. in 168 overs): 538.
Fall of wickets: 1-106, 2-110, 3-287, 4-338.
Karnataka bowling: Vinay Kumar 15-6-38-0, Mithun 19-4-47-0, Appanna 40-1-136-1, Binny 13-2-49-0, Raju 45-6-148-2, Verma 29-3-79-0, Satish 3-1-4-1, Pawan 4-0-15-0.
Karnataka — 1st innigs: K.B. Pawan (batting) 5, R. Uthappa (batting) 18, Extras (nb-3): 3; Total (for no loss in 10 overs): 26.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Balaji 2-1-2-0, Kaushik 1-0-4-0, Mohammed 1-1-0-0, Aparajith 2-0-8-0, M. Ashwin 3-0-12-0, Malolan 1-0-1-0.
Keywords: Ranji Trophy