Ahead of the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2019-20 fixture at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here, there were calls for Mumbai’s Aditya Tare to be dropped from the side as he had a string of poor scores in the previous matches.
Resuming on his overnight score of 69 on Sunday, the right hander applied himself beautifully and made optimum use of the batting belter that was on offer at Chepauk.
Tare added 85 runs to his first day’s score before being shown the door by left-arm pacer T Natarajan in the 132nd over.
The captain’s knock coupled with bonus runs from lower-order batters Shashank Attarde (58) and Tushar Deshpande (39 not out) helped Mumbai make a majestic first innings total of 488 in 148.4 overs. In reply, defiant openers Abhinav Mukund (52 batting) and L Suryapprakash (11 batting) didn’t give an inch to the visiting pacers, with Tamil Nadu still having the full monty of 10 wickets up its sleeve.
There was drizzle before the scheduled start (local) time of 9.30am, but the rain gods stayed away thereafter to allow play to go on without delay.
Mumbai, continuing on 284 for six, lost Vinayak Bhoir (5), uninvolved in the opening day’s action, early. He fell to Natarajan (2/124), holing out to Pradosh Ranjan Paul at mid-wicket for five runs.
However, Tare continued on his merry way, smashing 10 fours and two maximums on Sunday. He was particularly severe on off-spinner and stand-in captain Baba Aparajith (1/49), who conceded both sixes in the 108th over. The wicketkeeper-batsman targeted the straight boundary, hitting the first one over the bowler’s head and second over long-off.
Tare was involved in a 123-run eighth-wicket partnership with all-rounder Attarde, who came up with a handy innings that had four fours and a six in it. The touring captain finally had to make his way back at 154 after Aparajith took a clean one-handed catch at first slip off Natarajan.
Just when Tamil Nadu thought it could sweep the tail, southpaw Deshpande delivered a cameo at the end. Medium pacer by trade, the No.10 took India international Ravichandran Ashwin (3/121) to the cleaners, depositing his balls past the ropes on three different occasions (139th, 145th and 147th overs).
After some resistance from both Attarde and Deshpande, who added 45 runs for the penultimate wicket, the former ended his time in the middle while trying to punish a delivery from R Sai Kishore (4/125).
On the stroke of tea, the host bowled out the visitor for 488 as Aparajith removed Royston Dias (6) whose stay was short-lived.
Returning after being at the receiving end for most part of the first five sessions, Mukund, who struck a half-century, and the patient Suryapprakash dealt the Mumbai bowling attack well, finishing at least the first objective of not losing a wicket admirably. Mukund has so far hit seven fours while his partner has one to his name.
Brief scores: Mumbai 488 all out in 148.4 overs (A Tare 154, S Mulani 87, S Attarde 58, R Sai Kishore 4/125, R Ashwin 3/121) vs Tamil Nadu 66 without loss in 31 overs (A Mukund 52*)