Sparkling centuries by Sridharan Sriram and Dinesh Karthik helped Tamil Nadu post a healthy first innings total of 481 against Railways on the second day of their five-day Ranji Trophy semi-final in Chennai on Monday.
In reply, Railways were 18 for no loss at close with openers Shreyas Khanolkar (17) and Sanjay Bangar (1) at the crease.
After the hosts just managed to save the first day on Sunday, making 244 for 6, determined efforts by both Sriram (172) and Karthik (122), who added 212 runs for the seventh wicket in 66.1 overs, brightened Tamil Nadu's chances to progress to the final.
Sriram, who had occupied the crease for 554 minutes after coming at the fall of opener S Ramesh yesterday, hit 17 boundaries and a six, while Karthik's 122 included 12 boundaries and four sixes.
Ram Kumar remained unbeaten on 28 (4x4, 1x6).
Tamil Nadu 1st Innings
S Suresh c Wankhade b J P Yadav 44
S Ramesh c Varma b Khonalkar 23
S Sriram run out 172
S Badrinath c Goud b J P Yadav 1
S Sharath c M Yadav b H Singh 26
K Srivasudeva Das c T P Singh b Parida 25
Vidyuth Sivaramakrishnan run out 22
K Dinesh Karthik c Parida b Goud 122
R Ramkumar not out 28
C Ganapathy c Bangar b Parida 1
D Tamilkumaran LBW b H Singh 1
Extras: (B2, LB6, NB6, W2) 16
Total (all out in 169.2 overs) 481
Fall of wickets:1/54, 2/95, 3/99, 4/149, 5/205, 6/229, 7/441, 8/454, 9/474
Bowling: Harvinder Singh 28.2-4-82-2; J P Yadav 27-12-66-2, Sanjay Bangar 27-4-74-0; S N Khonalkar 12-2-34-1, K Parida 41-11-136-2; Madan Yadav 17-3-58-0; Yere Goud 7-0-23-1.
Railways 1st innings
S Khonalkar not out 17
S Bangar not out 1
Total (for no loss, 8 overs) 18
Bowling: D Tamilkumaran 4-1-12-0; C Ganapathy 2-0-4-0; R Ramkumar 2-0-2-0.