The host’s lower-order has no answer to Ramesh Powar’s guile
CHENNAI: Except for the odd pocket of resistance, Tamil Nadu’s batting had little to show by way of application on the first day of the second-round Ranji Trophy Super League match against Mumbai.
On a slow ICL-Guru Nanak ground pitch that showed evidence of inconsistent bounce, the home side was dismissed for 206 in 77 overs after winning the toss. Dinesh Karthik top-scored with 76 and R. Srinivasan remained unbeaten on a carefully compiled 66, his third half-century in as many First Class matches, but no one else crossed 19.
Mumbai responded with 20 for no loss in 11 overs — a period of play that saw opener Sahil Kukreja being reprieved. V. Yomahesh drew an edge from Kukreja (on 10), but the ball didn’t stick in Karthik’s right glove.
Earlier, off-spinner Ramesh Powar finished with four for 55 from 19 overs, but it was his run out of M. Vijay that changed Thursday’s complexion. Vijay had put on 47 with Karthik, who opened instead of S. Anirudha to accommodate five bowlers, when he fell victim to a mix up.
Mumbai’s new-ball bowlers, Ajit Agarkar and Aavishkar Salvi, were beginning to look distinctly unthreatening when the visiting side was thrown a bone.
Salvi then effected a vital double strike in the space of three deliveries after the drinks break. From around the wicket, the 26-year-old trapped the left-handed R. Prasanna on the move. A ball that held up and kept low foiled Badrinath’s forcing stroke off the back-foot, disturbing the off-stump off the inside edge. Medium-pacer Abhishek Nayar then had K. Shri Vasudeva Das caught behind to leave Tamil Nadu on 62 for four.
Karthik and Srinivasan added 57 the only half-century partnership of the innings before the former was adjudged leg-before off an attempted sweep, having advanced down the track.
Karthik’s knock (108b, 12x4, 1x6) wasn’t without its rough edges, but it had several moments of exceptional skill. Twice he pulled Agarkar, and once he drove Salvi straight. It was a back-cut off his stumps, however, that best captured the mood of the innings: audacious, but always keeping the bowlers interested.
Srinivasan’s stay (166b, 10x4) stood out for its organisation. He sweated on the cut against the medium-pacers, moving into position with a back-and-across shuffle; anything on his legs, he worked to on. Spinners Powar and Iqbal Abdulla (left-arm slow) were driven through the covers. But, Powar’s flight and consequent trajectory above the batsman’s eye-line proved too much for Tamil Nadu’s lower order.
The scores: Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: D. Karthik lbw b Powar 76, M. Vijay (run out) 17, R. Prasanna lbw b Salvi 3, S. Badrinath b Salvi 0, K. Shri Vasudeva Das c Samant b Nayar 4, R. Srinivasan (not out) 66, R. Ashwin c & b Abdulla 19, R. Ramkumar c Jaffer b Powar 7, R. Naresh c Kukreja b Powar 4, V. Yomahesh c Rahane b Powar 3, P. Amarnath b Agarkar 0; Extras: (b-1, lb-3, nb-3) 7; Total: (in 77 overs) 206.
Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-57, 3-57, 4-62, 5-119, 6-153, 7-171, 8-185, 9-205.
Mumbai bowling: Agarkar 13-4-36-1, Salvi 18.4-5-43-2, Nayar 17-2-41-1, Powar 19-4-55-4, Abdulla 9.2-2-27-1.
Mumbai — 1st innings: S. Kukreja (batting) 17, W. Jaffer (batting) 3; Total (for no loss in 11 overs) 20.
Tamil Nadu bowling: Yomahesh 4-2-10-0, Amarnath 5-3-8-0, Naresh 2-1-2-0.