Chennai, Dec 1 (UNI) Powered by centuries by openers Abhinav Mukund and M Vijay, hosts Tamil Nadu, looking for the first win of the season, stood firmly in the driver's seat on the opening day of the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match against Saurashtra here today.
At close, the home team, though scored at a prosaic pace, reached a dominating 262 for one, with Abhinav, hitting his second successive century (120, 271 balls, 13x4, 1x6) and Vijay, the highest run getter for the State last season, notching up his first century of the season and remained unbeaten on 129 (270 balls, 13x4, 1x6).
Saurashtra bowlers toiled hard on a placid wicket as the two Tamil Nadu batsmen justified their skipper S Badrinath's decision to bat first after winning the toss.
The home team needed a great start to put up a big total and push for an outright win. And they got the perfect start with Abhinav and Vijay putting their heads together to stitch a record opening wicket stand of 256 runs in 88.3 overs.
While Abhinav's was a chanceless innings, Vijay had a reprieve at 89 when medium pacer Sandip Maniar missed a return catch on his follow through. Except for this, Vijay dominated the bowlers and used his feet excellently to the spinners and picked runs on either side of the wicket.
It was back-to-back century for Abhinav, who made his debut in the last match and scored a perfect 100 against Karnataka. He cut and drove with aplomb as Saurashtra bowlers hardly made any impact.
The visiting skipper Jaydev Shah used as many as eight bowlers but could not break the stand. However, the visitors tasted success when Maniar struck in the penultimate over removing a tired Abhinav.
His dismissal notwithstanding, the home team is poised to post a huge total and bat Saurashtra out of the match.
Scoreboard: Tamil Nadu (first innings): Abhinav Mukund c Makvana b Maniar 120 M Vijay batting 129 S Badrinath batting 4 Extras (b-1, lb-2, w-2, nb-4) 9 Total (in 90 overs) 262 for 1 Fall of wickets : 1/256 Bowling : Sandip Jobanputra 12-1-30-0, Sandip Maniar 13-3-44-1, Rakesh Dhurv 16-2-33-0, Ravindra Jadeja 29-5-73-0, Kamlesh Makvana 14-1-58-0, C Pujara 1-0-4-0, S Kotak 3-0-10-0, Jaydev Shah 2-0-7-0 UNI