Suresh Raina struck a fluent century and Ali Murtaza made a memorable first class debut, scoring a polished half century, to help defending champions Uttar Pradesh gain a 95-run first innings lead over Tamil Nadu on the third day of the Elite Group A Ranji Trophy tie in Chennai on Wednesday.
Tamil Nadu, struggling to avoid relegation for the first time in its history, scored 63 for no loss in 21 overs in its second essay, with Anirudha Srikkanth (48 not out, 67 balls, 8x4) and M Vijay (14 not out, 60 balls, 1x4) at the crease.
Raina and Murtaza, resuming at 33 and four respectively, ground the listless Tamil Nadu attack.
The two left handers added 165 runs for the fifth wicket in 59.4 overs to overhaul the home team's first innings score of 325 all out.
Mixing caution with aggression, they piled the agony on the home team, which is yet to find its form in the tournament this season.
Raina hit 20 fours in his 230-ball essay, spanning nearly six hours, while Murtaza's 185-ball knock contained seven fours.
The exit of Murtaza and Raina in a space of 12 balls triggered a collapse as off spinner R Ashwin, playing in his second Ranji match, ran through the tail, bagging five of the last six wickets.
He eventually finished with an analysis of 44.3-12-128-6.
Uttar Pradesh lost their last six wickets for 64 runs in the space of 16.3 overs, collapsing from 356 for five to 420all out.
Tamil Nadu (Ist Innings):325
Uttar Pradesh (Ist Innings):
Shivakant Shukla LBW B R.Naresh 32
Md.Kaif LBW B R Naresh 88
Suresh Raina C Prasanna B Aswin 124
Piyush Chawla V R.Satish B R.Aswin 15
Ali Murtaza C Vijay B Aswin 68
Jyoti Yadav LBW B Jesuraj 10
Praveen Kumar C Prasanna B Aswin 19
Md.Amir Khan C (Sub)Srinivasadoss B Aswin 4
R.P.Singh C and B Aswin 11
Salabh Srivatsava Not Out 7
Extras: B-1, LB-7, NB-22, W-8) 38
Total (all Out in 139.3 overs) 420
Fall of Wkts: 1-6, 2-133, 3-153, 4-191, 5-356, 6-365, 7-385, 8-398, 9-399,
Bowling: Yo Mahesh 30-8-95-1, Jesuraj 29-11-69-1, Naresh 23-4-80-2, Satish 8-0-28-0, Aswin 44.3-12-128-6, Badrinath 5-1-12-0.
Tamil Nadu: 2nd Innings
M Vijay Batting 14
S Anirudha Batting 48
Extras: (NB-1) 1
Total (without loss in 21 overs) 63
Bowling: RP Singh 3-0-10-0, Srivatsava 8-2-21-0, Ali Murtaza 2-0-9-0, Praveen Kumar 5-2-19-0, Piyush Chawla 3-1-4-0.