Ranji Trophy: Tamil Nadu rides on Abhinav Mukund's ton

Abhinav Mukund hit his 29th first class century as Tamil Nadu dictated terms against Delhi on Day one of the Ranji Trophy at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Abhinav Mukund plays a shot en route to his century.   -  K. Pichumani

A day after his 29th birthday, Abhinav Mukund slammed an unbeaten hundred (104*, 244b, 11x4), his second consecutive and third of the season, to help Tamil Nadu end day one at 215 for three against Delhi on the opening day of the final Group B Ranji Trophy game at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Monday.

Abhinav along with skipper Baba Indrajith added 155 runs for the third wicket partnership as the duo helped the home team steady the ship after losing two early wickets in the opening session.

Electing to bat, Abhinav and N. Jagadeesan started off cautiously before left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra struck drawing the error from the latter who stepped out and tried to go an expansive shot and only managed to edge it to the backward point fielder.

As it Happened

Soon, Aparajith too fell similarly, stepping down to off-spinner Shivam Sharma that held its line and was stumped as the home side was reduced to 42 for two.

Meanwhile, Abhinav, who became Tamil Nadu’s highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy in the last match against Himachal Pradesh en route to his ton in the second innings, looked completely in control playing some delectable drives and cuts.

The left-hander started off with a streaky boundary edged through the slip cordon but after that rarely gave a chance to the Delhi bowlers, be it pacers or spinners. Abhinav hit two boundaries off Saini, one through the covers and one straight down the ground to get his innings going.

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At the other end, Indrajith continued his rich vein of form this season with another purposeful half-century (86, 199b, 11x4) with nice late cuts and using the wrists to drive the spinners through the leg side.

The duo ensured no wicket fell in the second session as they milked the bowlers around the park.

Delhi’s hard toil was worsened by the fact that the team dropped two easy chances without which the visitors could have been in a much better position.

Indrajith was the first one to be given a reprieve, dropped by Himmat Singh on 21 at first slip off skipper and off-spinner Nitish Rana, with a delivery that straightened.

Later in the day, with the first ball of the second new ball (86th over), pacer Navdeep Saini found Abhinav’s edge only for Lalit Yadav to drop it at gully, when the latter was on 97 allowing him to complete his 29th first class ton.

Brief scores:

Tamil Nadu 215/3 (Abhinav Mukund 104 n o, Baba Indrajith 86, Vikas Mishra 2/71) vs Delhi (Yet to bat)

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