Ranji Trophy: Madhya Pradesh finishes Day 1 strongly after Patidar's ton

Madhya Pradesh finished Day 1 of its Ranji Trophy opening match at 214/3 against Tamil Nadu after Rajat Patidar scored an unbeaten 110.

Madhya Pradesh vice-captain Rajat Patidar laid the foundation for a huge score against Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy.   -  M. Vedhan

Vice-captain Rajat Patidar stood tall with an unbeaten century (110, 254b, 9x4) as Madhya Pradesh ended the opening day of its Ranji Trophy clash against Tamil Nadu on 214 for three at the NPR College grounds here on Thursday.

Electing to bat, Patidar had to walk in the second over of the day when pacer Mohammed removed opener Ankit Dane caught driving at gully. The 25-year old looked in control right from the start beginning his knock with a delectable cover drive of Abhishek Tanwar.

The wicket here was an easy one for the batsmen with little help for the pacers or spinners in terms of turn with only one wicket falling in each session.

Patidar drove authoritatively whenever the bowlers overpitched, playing some beautiful cover drives in his innings.

The right-hander quickly ensured MP seized the momentum in the first hour of the play with five boundaries to move to 26 before the first drinks break.

Read: As it happened

At the other end, Aryaman Vikram Birla, though not as fluent as Patidar hung around to ensure MP did not lose wickets. The 21-year-old left-hander had a couple of streaky boundaries through the slip cordon to start and was given a reprieve early in the innings.

Among the pacers, Vijay Shankar looked the best in the first session making good use of the extra bounce. He used the short ball sensibly and almost had Birla on 11 when the latter top-edged a hook only for Abhinav Mukund to spill it at fine leg.

Post lunch, Patidar moved from 46 to 54 with two boundaries off Vijay Shankar, the first a drive through midwicket to bring up his half-century. Birla slowly found his footing with some confident shots, like a cut off Rahil Shah and a pull over mid-wicket off Mohammed and slowly got to his maiden first-class half-century.

However, Ashwin immediately had Birla dismissed, caught at silly point for the only wicket of the second session.

Patidar meanwhile was cautious, more than happy to milk the Tamil Nadu bowlers around with skipper Naman Ojha looking to attack from the other end.

The deputy had his only boundary between 54 and 100 coming off a thick outside edge that flew between second slip and gully to take him to 90.

Ojha looked good during his brief stay of 45, starting with a six sweeping Ashwin between the square leg and mid-wicket boundary and then hitting Rahil Shah over long off.

However, Vijay Shankar was finally rewarded for his hard work when he got Ojha caught at slips driving towards the fag end of the day to give Tamil Nadu an opening with a new batsman at the crease for the second day.