The venomous delivery from Jaydev Unadkat rose like a cobra raising its hood, opened up B. Aparajith, and had him taken at slip. In the context of the day’s play, the moment did not count for much as Tamil Nadu consolidated and piled on the runs.
Abhinav Mukund constructed a monumental 240 (437b, 20x4, 1x6), an effort that blended focus with endurance and sound strokemaking.
Dinesh Karthik applied himself before launching into typically expansive shots during his 133 (192b, 14x4, 1x6). Tamil Nadu declared on a mammoth 565 for eight on the second day of the Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
In the dramatic moments that followed, Saurashtra opener Sagar Jogiyani was the victim of injudicious running between the wickets.
Mukund’s trigger movement is not the classical back and across — in fact he tends to move forward initially — but the opener managed to pierce the field with strong bottom-handed shots which meant the on-side was his more profitable flank.
The southpaw also rotated the strike capably, coaxing the ball into the gaps.
The surface eased out and Karthik upped the tempo; he also cashed in on a lapse when Arpit Vasavada dropped him at slip on 25 off paceman Chirag Jani.
Karthik pulled disdainfully, flashed a few through covers and employed deft footwork to get to the pitch of the ball. Predictably, the sweeps, the slog and the reverse, came into play.
The Saurashtra pacemen required to pitch the ball up and get the batsmen on to the front foot rather than depend on a back of a length. The visitor’s spin attack was ordinary.
The mammoth 240-run association for the fourth wicket in 59.5 overs ended after tea when Karthik top-edged a pull off Unadkat.
Tamil Nadu lost wickets in pursuit of quick runs but the heat is clearly on Saurashtra.
The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: A. Mukund b Makvana 240, M. Vijay c Sagar Jogiyani b Jani 62, S. Badrinath lbw b Vasavada 56, B. Aparajith c Jogiyani b Unadkat 50, D. Karthik c Jogiyani b Unadkat 133, R. Prasanna c Jogiyani b Unadkat 4, B. Indrajith c Jogiyani b Unadkat 3, A. Crist (not out) 4, L. Balaji b Makvana 0; Extras (b-7, lb-5, w-1): 13; Total (for eight wkts decl. in 158.2 overs): 565.
Fall of wickets: 1-97, 2-190, 3-297, 4-537, 5-541, 6-553, 7-565, 8-565.
Saurashtra bowling: Jaydev Unadkat 31.4-5-99-4, Abhishek Bhatt 24.2-3-93-0, Sandeep Maniar 18-4-55-0, Chirag Jani 33-10-76-1, Kamlesh Makvana 27.2-1-116-2, Arpit Vasavada 22-1-102-1, Jaydev Shah 2-0-12-0.
Saurashtra — 1st innings: B. Chauhan (batting) 3, S. Jogiyani (run out) 0, C. Pujara (batting) 8; Extras (b-1): 1; Total (for one wkt in five overs): 12.
Fall of wicket: 1-2.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Lakshmipathy Balaji 3-2-2-0, Aswin Crist 2-0-9-0.