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Badrinath slams unbeaten ton
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November 23, 2006 20:01 IST

A gritty, unbeaten century by skipper S Badrinath saw Tamil Nadu recover from a shaky start to 184 for 3 at the end of the first day's play in the Ranji Trophy match against Delhi, in Delhi, on Thursday.

Badrinath played a captain's innings after winning the toss and choosing to bat first on a wicket that was rather slow.

Ishant Sharma, the debutant Delhi medium pacer, was the first to strike when he trapped S Vidyut lbw with just two runs on the board.

There was more trouble for Tamil Nadu soon after when Hemang Badani too fell, with only 11 runs on the board. He was caught behind by Vijay Dahiya off the bowling of Ashish Nehra, who is returning to full fitness after recovering from injury.

But from then on, it was Tamil Nadu who took control. Badrinath and debutant right-handed opening batsman M Vijay put on 127 for the third wicket.

Vijay, who scored his maiden half-century in his very first outing in first-class cricket, was steady. He occupied the crease for almost five hours for his score of 59.

In the end, it was an accurate spell of nagging medium pace from Delhi all-rounder Rajat Bhatia that provided the breakthrough. Vijay shouldered arms to a straight delivery and was trapped in front.

The day could have been a lot worse for Tamil Nadu had Bhatia had held on to a catch at gully when Badrinath slashed at a wide ball from Nehra. The sharp chance was grassed with Badrinath only on 17 at that stage. He went on to finish the day unbeaten on 100.

Badrinath struck 10 fours and one big six, off left arm spinner Rahul Sanghvi, in his 225-ball knock. R Sathish was with him at the crease when play was called off at 4.45 pm due to bad light.

''It was a very satisfying knock given that I came in to bat under pressure after two wickets had fallen for just 11 runs,'' said Badrinath at the end of the day's play.

''The wicket was keeping a bit low and it was not easy to play on, so I would rate this as one of my better innings,'' he added.

Tamil Nadu's scoring rate was on the lower side, but on a day when several teams collapsed in their opening matches of the Ranji season, they will be happy with the foundation they have.


Tamil Nadu (1st innings):
M Vijay lbw b Bhatia 59
S Vidyut lbw b Sharma 2
H Badani c Dahiya b Nehra 5
S Badrinath not out 100
R Sathish not out 16
Extras: (nb 2) 2
Total: (3 wickets; 85.2 overs) 184     

To bat: S Sharath, A Kapoor, V Mahesh, M Vikram, C Suresh, D Kumaran.

Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-11, 3-138.

Bowling: A Nehra 25-8-44-1, I Sharma 17.2-6-30-1, C Nanda 18-4-60-0, R L Sanghvi 16-3-41-0, R Bhatia 9-5-9-1.

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