Ishwar Pandey ran through the fragile Tamil Nadu batting line-up picking up six wickets as Madhya Pradesh bowled out the visiting side for just 149 on day one of the Elite Group B Ranji Trophy clash at the Holkar Stadium here on Wednesday.
Asked to bat on a difficult wicket where there was a lot of assistance for the pacers, TN did well in the tough first session to recover from seven for two as it went to lunch on 92 for three.
However, like in the previous match against Himachal Pradesh, TN squandered a good platform with poor shot selection against some brilliant swing bowling from Pandey and Avesh Khan (2/34) losing seven wickets for 48 runs.
In reply, MP finished the day on 56 for 3 with T Natarajan taking two wickets and Vignesh the other in the final session that was briefly interrupted by bad light.
Earlier, Pandey struck in the sixth over of the day with two beautiful inswingers to get opener K. Mukunth and Kaushik Gandhi leg-before off successive deliveries before Ganga Sridhar Raju and debutant C Hari Nishanth steadied things.
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The best batsman for TN though was skipper B. Aparajith, who was the lone-man standing scoring a valiant unbeaten 61. Aparajith looked positive from the beginning putting punishing the bad deliveries and was solid in defence as well, adding 53-runs with Raju for the fourth wicket.
The skipper flicked elegantly when the bowlers sprayed on his leg-side and he was equally adept at driving on the off-side peppering his knock with 11 boundaries.
The diminutive Raju showed tremendous grit against pacers who were swinging it both ways by playing close to the body until Avesh, coming around the wicket, induced a false shot to dismiss him caught behind. The dismissal after lunch triggered a collapse during which TN lost four wickets for nine runs, with Avesh and Pandey picking up two each.
N. Jagadeesan and J Kosuik were guilty of playing at deliveries well out of their reach to give simple catches to third slip while Mohammed was bowled by a beautiful outswinger from Pandey.