Tamil Nadu top order sent the Vinay Kumar-led side on a leather hunt, with Dinesh Karthik being the chief tormentor, notching up a brilliant unbeaten 154.
Dinesh and R Prasanna’s (74 no) fifth-wicket stand worth 200 runs put Tamil Nadu in command against Karnataka on the second day of the Group B Ranji Trophy tie at MAC Stadium here. TN declared their innings at 538 for four after Dinesh crossed the 150-run mark. In reply, Karnataka were 26 for no loss at stumps.
Karnataka seamers and spinners had no answer to Dinesh Karthik, who was at his vintage best. Prasanna too inspired by Karthik played an attractive knock to help the hosts post a mammoth total. Dinesh’s calculated assault took the wind out of the Karnataka’s sails and the hundred odd die-hard fans got to see the TN stumper in full flow.
Dinesh attacked from the word go. Coming in at the fall of S Badrinath’s wicket, he made his intentions clear by carting Raju over mid-wicket for a six. His knock was similar to the one he played against Railways in the semifinals of the Ranji in 2004.
Saturday’s knock has given him back that confidence and importantly he enjoyed every minute of his stay. This innings should provide the spark for Karthik to get back the second wicketkeeper slot in the Indian team.
Dinesh cut, swept and pulled with relish. His in-side out shots, particularly against KP Appanna stood out. His reverse sweeps added insult to the already demoralised Karnataka seamers.
Earlier in the morning, Badrinath (72) added just 11 runs to his overnight score before getting out to Raju after committing himself to the back foot. Baba Aparajith, who required 15 runs to complete his century, notched up his maiden first-class ton (112). After getting into the nineties, he took singles to get to 98. He completed his hundred with an edged boundary to third man off Stuart Binny. Aparajith’s innings came to an end when he failed to read a sharp one from Appanna and was stumped by CM Gautham.
“There was nothing for the seamers on the wicket. We too could have put up an imposing score if the toss had gone in our favour,’’ said Vinay Kumar. “Our boys have not given up. There are still two more days, our boys will fight and chase the target. If we play to our potential, we can overhaul TN’s total,’’ added Vinay.