Prasanna helps TN rally

Pacer Sandhu claims four wickets to spearhead Mumbai attack

Ramaswamy Prasanna struck a fighting unbeaten 81 and added 111 with V Yomahesh to lift Tamil Nadu to a respectable 250 for six from a precarious position on day one of the four-day Ranji Trophy semifinal against Mumbai here on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu were tottering at 139 for six at lunch, having lost five wickets either side of the interval for the addition of only 32 runs.

However, Prasanna and Mahesh dug in and added 111 for the undefeated seventh wicket at the Wankhede stadium.

At close, the 29-year-old Prasanna, playing his 24th first-class fixture, was unbeaten after a vigil of 245 minutes during which he slammed 12 fours from 177 balls.

Yomahesh, a handy lower-order batsman and medium-pacer, was giving him company with a responsible 34 not out after a 185-minute stay at the crease, facing 142 balls.
The seventh-wicket pair denied Mumbai, who had given first strike to Tamil Nadu after winning the toss, any wicket after the first hour of the second session, and also saw off the second new ball taken eight overs before close.

Their partnership, that has spanned 279 balls, pulled the visitors from a deep rut that saw Tamil Nadu lose three wickets in four balls in only six minutes before lunch, including two off successive balls, at the same score of 107 and then two more soon after the break.

The man doing serious damage to the strong Tamil Nadu ranks after a 99-run second-wicket stand between opener Murali Vijay (47) and Subramaniam Badrinath (56) was young medium-pacer Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

The right-armer ended the day with figures of four for 80 after being on a hat-trick during his superb second spell of 2-0-8-2, grabbing the wickets of Vijay and Dinesh Kaarthick off successive deliveries. Dhawal Kulkarni secured the remaining two wickets that fell and ended with figures of two for 60.

The decision of Wasim Jaffer to insert the visitors appeared to have backfired when Tamil Nadu raced to 50 at almost five an over after the early departure of left-handed opener Abhinav Mukund (4), who dragged Kulkarni on to his stumps.

Vijay and Badrinath, who faced 86 balls and hit 10 fours, looked in full control when Kulkarni and Sandhu bowled their first spells in a wayward fashion, Badrinath spanking the latter for four fours to the cover region in one over.

After helping his side to reach 100 in the 28th over and completing his own half-century with a pulled four in 76 balls, Badrinath played a poor shot to drag a wide ball from Sandhu on to his stumps and start the slide.

The former captain’s partnership with Vijay (80b, 7x4) was worth 99 in 159 balls.
Kaarthick was declared leg before to a ball that seemed to be missing the leg-stump to provide Sandhu with a hat-trick chance that was denied by K Vasudevadas.

Then Vijay chased a wide ball from Kulkarni as TN lost three wickets on 107. Adjourning to lunch without any further loss at 125 for four, Tamil Nadu lost Vasudevadas (14) and Sunny Gupta (12) to Sandhu soon after resumption to be in a precarious position when Prasanna and Yomahesh staged the grand recovery.

SCOREBOARD
TAMIL NADU (I Innings): Abhinav Mukund b Kulkarni 4, Murali Vijay c Gurav b Kulkarni 47, S Badrinath b Sandhu 56, Dinesh Kaarthick     lbw Sandhu 0, K Vasudevadas c Gurav b Sandhu 14, R Prasanna (batting) 81, Sunny Gupta c Shah b Sandhu 12, V Yomahesh (batting) 34. Extras (B-1, NB-1) 2. Total (for 6 wkts, 90 overs) 250.
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-107, 3-107, 4-107, 5-125, 6-139.
Bowling: Dhawal Kulkarni 26-10-60-2, Balwinder Singh Sandhu 21-3-80-4, Kshemal Waingankar 14-5-32-0, Abhishek Nayar 5-0-23-0, Ramesh Powar 12-1-34-0, Ankeet Chavan 10-2-19-0, Suryakumar Yadav 2-1-1-0.

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