Vadodara: A determined knock of 94 not out by Swapnil K Singh helped Baroda make 254 for 8 in 87 overs at stumps on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy Group C match against Tamil Nadu at Motibaug Cricket Ground here on Saturday.
Electing to bat after winning the toss in a must-win game for both teams, the home side made slow progress and lost wickets at regular intervals before Swapnil did the rescue act. Opener Kedar Devdhar added 29 runs for the first wicket before falling to a catch by M Mohammed off K Vignesh for 17.
The other opener Aditya Waghmode, who scored centuries in two previous matches, put on 29 for the second wicket with Vishnu Solanki before becoming Vignesh's second victim. The visitors claimed another scalp 10 runs later as Solanki was caught by Vignesh to give M S Washington Sundar his first wicket.
Baroda captain Deepak Jagbir Hooda was then involved in an enterprising 71-run partnership with Swapnil Singh, which lasted 20 overs. The usually aggressive Hooda showed restraint and in
Swapnil's company added important runs. He made 24 from 60 balls which included a big six, before being caught and bowled by left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore.
Hooda's exit sparked a collapse as Baroda slid from 139 for 3 to 176 for 7 as J Kousik (2 for 28) and Mohammed (1 for 19) too got into the act. However, Swapnil continued to fight and found a good partner in rookie Kartik Kakade (42) and they put on 69 important runs for the eighth wicket.
Swapnil during his 182-ball knock, mixed caution with aggression and hit 10 fours and three sixers while Kakade too hammered two sixes to frustrate the Tamil Nadu bowlers. Tail-ender Rudresh Waghela, who joined Swapnil ensured that Baroda didn't lose any further wickets.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu made two changes by bringing in M Kaushik Gandhi and Kousik in place of all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who has been picked in the India Test team and off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan.
Baroda 254 for 8 in 87 overs (Swapnil K Singh 94 batting, K R Kakade 42, J Kousik 2 for 28, K Vignesh 2 for 38) vs Tamil Nadu.
At Indore: Odisha 147 in 52.2 overs (Shantanu Mishra 60, Chandrakant Sakure 4 for 42) vs Madhya Pradesh 96 for 1 in 32 overs (Rajit Patidar 72 batting).
At Mumbai: Tripura 195 in 60.4 overs (M B Mura Singh 43, Akash Parkar 5 for 32) vs Mumbai 77 for 3 in 22 overs (Jay Bista 43 batting).
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