Ramesh anchors Tamil Nadu on first day
Opener Sadagoppan Ramesh made a patient, well-constructed 82 as Tamil Nadu and Delhi shared honours at the end of the first day of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group semi-final between the two sides at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday.
In sweltering conditions - the mercury soared up to 40 degree Celsius - Tamil Nadu skipper S Suresh had no hesitation in opting to bat. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, who walked out to open the innings with Ramesh, immediately took command of proceedings, making an assured 27 off 28 balls (three fours) before becoming the first wicket to fall (36 for 1).
Ramesh, then, found a reliable ally in another southpaw Sridharan Sriram. The compact No 3, who completed 1,000 runs in this Ranji season during his innings of 33, helped Ramesh add 65 runs for the second wicket, before falling to left-arm spinner Rahul Sanghvi (101 for 2).
After Sriram's dismissal, Ramesh went on to forge useful partnerships of 62 with skipper S Suresh (35) and 65 with Hemang Badani (48*), before becoming the fourth batsman to be dismissed on the day. His sedate 244-ball 82 was punctuated with 12 fours. With selectors Kirti Azad and Sanjay Jagdale watching on, Ramesh had certainly not done his chances of making a return to the Indian side any harm.
Sridharan Sharath, who replaced Ramesh, proved to be Tamil Nadu's only failure on the day, dismissed after making just six (244 for 5). The visitors' hopes of building a huge total now rest with Badani (48*) and Vasanth Saravanan (1*).
For Delhi, Sanghvi and medium-pacer Sanjay Gill claimed two wickets each.