Tamil Nadu struggled for breath on the opening day of its Ranji Trophy Group B match against Railways, but R. Prasanna provided the necessary oxygen at the Jamia Millia Sports Complex here.

At stumps, TN was 200 for eight, with Prasanna unbeaten on 88.

Railways, which chose to bowl, had named an unchanged eleven, but Tamil Nadu made three alterations.

S. Badrinath replaced B. Indrajith and was joined by J. Kaushik and M. Mohammed in the side. Rahil Shah and Aswin Crist made way for the quick bowling duo, the green track necessitating the inclusion of a seamer.

However, the initial benefits were accrued by Railways.

The match’s second delivery brought about K.B. Arun Karthick’s departure.

Thereafter, Ranjit Mali stifled and choked the batsmen in a spell of 13-10-9-3. A steadfast application of an off-stump line from good length brought the expected rewards.

Abhinav Mukund was dismissed in the 11th over when he pushed forward hesitantly and edged the ball to the ’keeper.

Badrinath was tempted by a wide Mali delivery. The batsmen flayed the willow with glee at the rare gift but only managed an edge to the wicketkeeper.

Dinesh Karthik faced Mali when the bowler was at his hostile best. He was soon leg-before to leave Tamil Nadu precariously placed at 49 for four.

The lunch break seemed to soothe the track and the TN batsmen’s nerves.

B. Aparajith and R. Prasanna added 74 in the next 144 minutes. Three overs before tea, the introduction of leg-spinner Karn Sharma brought the worst out of Aparajith.

His second delivery was flighted and the batsman fell to the temptation. An uppish shot resulted in a catch at mid-on.

The final session brought three more wickets for Railways, but it was marked by Prasanna and L. Balaji’s resistance.

The duo added 57 off 117 balls for the eighth wicket but the latter was dismissed off the day’s last ball.

The scores:

Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: K.B. Arun Karthick lbw b Anureet Singh 0, Abhinav Mukund c Rawat b Mali 16, S. Badrinath c Rawat b Mali 26, B. Aparajith c Rongsen b Karn 29, Dinesh Karthik lbw b Mali 1, R. Prasanna (batting) 88, Malolan Rangarajan lbw b Anureet 10, M. Mohammed c Bhille b Karn 2, L. Balaji lbw b Anureet 22; Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-1): 6; Total (for eight wkts. in 89 overs): 200.

Fall of wickets: 0-1, 2-32, 3-47, 4-49, 5-123, 6-136, 7-143, 8-200.

Railways bowling: Anureet Singh 29-13-49-3, Krishnakant Upadhyay 16-7-42-0, Ranjit Mali 20-11-29-3, Murali Kartik 12-2-42-0, Karn Sharma 9-0-33-2.

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