Bengaluru, Dec 7: Chidambaram Gautam's 94-run knock was the highlight for Karnataka before Tamil Nadu bowled them out for 290 in their first innings on day one of their opening Ranji Trophy match here today.
Kaushik Gandhi was batting on 12 and giving him company was India discard Abhinav Mukund on 10 as Tamil Nadu reached 22 without loss at stumps. (Gambhir hits ton for Delhi)
The heroes for Karnataka on day one were Chidambaram Gautam, who missed his century by six runs, and Kunal Kapoor (87), who gave respectability to the hosts' total after they were struggling at 97 for five in 25.4 overs.
Gautam stitched a useful 95 runs for the sixth wicket with Kapoor and later, knit a vital 56-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Shreyas Gopal (24), which propelled Karnataka to a respectable total. Earlier, Tamil Nadu's bowlers did well to skittle out Karnataka, thereby justifying captain Ramaswamy Prasanna's decision to send Karnataka into bat.
Medium pacers Jagannathan Kaushik and M Mohammed were pick of the bowlers with figures of four for 53 and three for 80, respectively. India discard Laxmipathy Balaji finished with two wickets for 50 runs. Contrary to their reputation of being the defending champions, Karnataka were tottering at 129 for five in the first innings at lunch.
Sent in to bat, Karnataka were looking to make a good start in the new season, but half of the team perished to some excellent bowling by Tamil Nadu bowlers, especially by Kaushik who bagged three for 33 before lunch.
The cream of Karnataka batting, including Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Stuart Binny, who are included in the 30 probables list of the World Cup, perished cheaply, leaving Karnataka struggling at 97 for five. First to go was Uthappa, who gave a catch to Dinesh Karthik off Laxmipathy Balaji, after he made 14.
On the same score of 25, Karnataka lost their second wicket after Kaushik had Mayank Agarwal (9) caught behind. Kaushik once again rattled the Karnataka innings as he sent back the promising Karun Nair (9) and Binny (7) cheaply.
Resuming their innings after lunch at 129 for five, Karnataka rode back to normalcy as they lost just one wicket till tea in the form of Kunal Kapoor, who made a brilliant 87, in company of Gautam.
Both scripted a useful 95-run partnership for the sixth wicket before Kapoor was castled by Mohammed. Kapoor cracked 18 boundaries during his knock.