Badrinath, Vijay put TN on solid ground

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Chennai, Dec 17 (UNI) Brilliant centuries by skipper S Badrinath and opener M Vijay saw Tamil Nadu in a strong position amassing 302, losing just three wickets in their first innings, at the draw of stumps on the first day of the Elite Group 'A' superleague match against Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy here today.

At the M A Chidambaram stadium, the Rajasthan bowlers were sent on a proverbial leather hunt with Badri and Vijay scoring at will with the former making the best use of a chance when he was on 31, going on to make 138 off 181 balls in 251 minutes. He hit 16 fours and two sixes of off-spinner Shamsher Singh. Vijay, in a chanceless knock, remained unbeaten on 112 off 240 balls in his 349 minute stay at the wicket. He compiled his score with the help of ten fours and two sixes. His two hits over the boundary were also off Shamsher Singh, in the same over.

Tamil Nadu, who were facing an uphill task of qualifying for the knock out phase from the Group despite their improved showing, were off to a disastrous start, batting first upon winning the toss. They lost their new talent, left handed opener Abhinav Mukund for 7 when he nicked medium pacer Nishant Singh to Rajasthan's wicket keeper and captain Rohit Jhalani off the last ball of the second over of the innings.

However, Badri and Vijay pulled the team out of dire straits, adding 234 runs in a marathon second wicket stand off 60.3 overs, before the Tamil Nadu skipper nicked the other medium pacer Sumit Mathur to Rohit Jhalani.

With R Srinivasan, who was at the wicket with him at the draw stumps on 25 off 53 balls with four fours, Vijay added 58 runs in an unbroken stand for the fourth wicket. Sumit Mathur claimed two wickets for 63 runs.

Play could not be extended to complete the mandatory 90 overs required to be bowled on each of the four days of the match, due to bad light and drizzle.

Brief Scores: Tamil Nadu 302-3 off 81.4 overs( M Vijay-batting 112, S Badrinath 138, R Srinivasan-batting 25, Sumit Mathur 2-63).

UNI

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