CHENNAI: Uttar Pradesh failed to make good use of the toss and caved into the guile of left-arm spinner Rahil Shah (5 for 63), as Tamil Nadu dismissed the visitors for 182 on the first day of their Group A Ranji fixture at MA Chidambaram stadium here on Tuesday.
Uttar Pradesh had only themselves to blame, as they lacked application and craft to counter the three-prong spin firm of Rahil, Malolan Rangarajan and M Prabhu. Even part-timers Suresh Kumar and Vijay Shankar troubled them. Shankar provided the first breakthrough, as he took a return catch to eject Tanmay Srivastava (0) in the fourth over.
Fellow opener Aakash Verma (16) and debutant Himanshu Asnora hung around till the 18th over but Verma was caught at short-leg off Prabhu. Asnora also departed soon after, with the team score at 44. Thereafter, Umang Sharma (27) and Arish Alam (47) stitched a useful stand of 45 runs for the fourth wicket.
But Sharma’s departure, caught by R Sathish off Shah, just before lunch triggered a collapse. Two balls later, Rahil had Akshdeep Nath caught by Abhinav Mukund off a quicker ball. Sharma was deceived by bounce. “The wicket had a bit of bounce and also turn, but at the same a bit slow. I do require a bit of help from the surface and was lucky it suited my style,’’ said Rahil Shah.
“The plan was to bowl tight, stump to stump, apply pressure and induce mistakes. Prabhu also bowled well and he kept it tight at the other end ‘’ added Rahil.
Once Alam (47) was dismissed—Suresh induced an uppish drive to Baba Aparajith at cover—the visitor’s last hopes of a reasonable score too fell apart. “The wicket was not easy to bat. One needed to concentrate hard because it was two-paced,’’ pointed out Alam.
Not even skipper Piyush Chawla, who is known to put the long handle to good effect, could propel them. He hung around for 22 off 55 balls, before Shah castled him. Had Prabhu and Aparajith not dropped Eklavya Dwivedi and Ali Murtaza, they could have been restricted to an even lesser total.
Tamil Nadu—53 for 2 at stumps—began their response earnest with Umashankar Sushil and Abhinav Mukund digging in, as RP Singh and Amit Mishra went flat out at them. The plan was to bounce them out, as they kept pitching short with a forward short leg and silly point in tow.
But it was Chawla who brought them the first wicket, as he deceived Sushil with turn to be caught at first slip by Alam. Shankar eased the pressure with three boundaries off him. But he wasted the start as he ungainly attempted to heave off-spinner Alam over the ropes. He missed the line to be stumped for 17 in the penultimate over of the day.
Uttar Pradesh (1st innings) A Verma c B Indrajith b M Prabhu 16, T Srivastava c & b V Shankar 0, H Asnora c R Sathish b M Rangarajan 21, U Sharma c R Sathish b R Shah 27, A Alam c B Aparajith b S Kumar 47, A Nath c A Mukund b R Shah 0, E Dwivedi c U Sushil b R Shah 19, P Chawla b R Shah 22, A Murtaza (not out) 13, A Mishra c R Sathish b R Shah 1, RP Singh c B Indrajith b M Rangarajan 2, Extras (b 6, lb 6, nb 2) 14. Total (all out; 74.4 overs) 182. Fall of wickets 1-0, 2-36, 3-44, 4-89, 5-89, 6-123, 7-159, 8-167, 9-169. Bowling: R Shah 26-5-63-5, V Shankar 7-7-0-1, M Prabhu 13-0-47-1, M Rangarajan 20.4-8-39-2, S Kumar 8-0-21-1.
Tamil Nadu (1st innings) U Sushil ct A Alam b P Chawla 4, A Mukund (not out) 26, V Shankar st E Dwivedi b A Alam 17, B Aparajith (not out) 1, Extras (nb 1, b 4) 5, Total (2 wickets; 23 overs) 53. Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-52. Bowling: RP Singh 6-2-8-0, A Mishra 3-2-1-0, P Chawla 7-0-31-1, A Murtaza 6-2-8-0, A Alam 1-0-1-1.