Tamil Nadu batters, led by N. Jagadeesan (125, 152b, 14×4), made merry on their return to the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium for the first time this season, racking up 386 for four on the first day of the Ranji Trophy clash against Assam on Tuesday.
After Jagadeesan’s knock, Pradosh Ranjan Paul took the baton from him and inched closer to what could be his third hundred of the season as he finished the day unbeaten on 99 (127b, 11×4).
B. Indrajith (77) and Vijay Shankar (53 batting) chipped in with vital contributions as the Assam bowlers looked clueless against players who knew the conditions like the back of their hands.
The most impressive part of TN’s batting was that the batters made runs without taking risks, with not a single six being hit in the day despite the scoring rate being more than four rpo.
Earlier, Assam’s Mukhtar Hussain and Sunil Lachit swung the new ball and kept the TN openers quiet in the first hour, with Lachit removing B. Sai Sudharsan in the fourth over.
But once the ball stopped swinging, Jagadeesan cut loose and was majestic through the off-side, punishing the bowlers with stylish square drives.
After losing Aparajith, Jagadeesan and Indrajith added 157 runs for the third wicket and dominated the second session.
But just before tea, left-arm spinner Siddharth Sarmah accounted for both batters. He had Indrajith edging to slip before Jagadeesan was caught in the deep.
The left-handed Pradosh punished the Assam bowlers with superb wristwork to score effortlessly through the leg side off the front and back foot.
At the other end, Shankar quickly accumulated runs as the duo added 150 runs for an unbroken fifth wicket stand.
On a pitch offering some turn, TN would look to bat only once by putting a big total on day two, especially with the dangerous M. Shahrukh Khan still to follow.