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Tamil Nadu takes first day's honours

By Our Special Correspondent

GUWAHATI, DEC. 4. Tamil Nadu took the first day's honours in its four-day Elite Group `B' Ranji Trophy match against Assam when it finished day one at 288 for the loss of three wickets at the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.

Skipper Hemang Badani, who won the toss, had no hesitation in batting first. Playing its third match as against Assam's fourth, Tamil Nadu flourished through opening batsman Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan (52), Sridharan Sriram (82), Badani (batting 74) and S. Badrinath (batting 50) on a pitch which played lower and slower with every passing hour.

Assam, in search of its first point of the tournament, had a very poor day. An ordinary looking attack and shoddy fielding did not help its cause at all. The two heavy losses in its previous games have had their effect as the side showed a distinct lack of enterprise.

Lone failure

The lone failure of the day for Tamil Nadu was opener Sadagopan Ramesh. Playing his 100th first class match, he was run out for a duck on the third ball of the day. The call was his partner's.

But before this success could spur on Assam in came No. 3 Sriram who along with Vidyut played some fluent shots. The duo put on 117 in 36 overs before Vidyut was run out in the penultimate over before lunch.

After lunch Sriram and Badani added another 58 in 21 overs before Sriram was caught and bowled by debutant off-spinner Gokul Sharma. Sriram, who was choosing the right ball to hit and looked good for his 28th first class hundred, seemingly lost his concentration and wicket.

Badrinath, who came in next, bloomed in the company of his skipper. Badani brought into play all his experience and played with the typical left-hander's lazy elegance. But for a chance he offered to the wicketkeeper and skipper Zakaria Zuffri off left-arm spinner Sukhvinder Singh on the legside, his innings was flawless. Badrinath too settled down to play some good shots on either side of the wicket and the two have already put on an unfinished 113-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

With the exception of Sukhvinder, none of the Assam bowlers were impressive.

The scores:

Tamil Nadu — 1st innings: V. Sivaramakrishnan (run out) 52, S. Ramesh (run out) 0; S. Sriram c & b Sharma 82, H. Badani (batting) 74, S. Badrinath (batting) 50; Extras (b-11, lb-11, nb-3, penalty-5): 30; Total (for three wkts.) 288.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-117, 3-175.

Assam bowling: Yadav 17-3-52-0, Das 7-0-22-0, Sathish 3-0-9-0, Konwar 23-2-59-0, Sukhvinder 26-4-67-0, Sharma 13-2-49-1, Aziz 1-0-3-0.

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