Chennai: India medium pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji claimed four wickets to help Tamil Nadu enjoy an upper hand as the hosts were 21 for no loss after skittling out Assam for 184 in their first innings on the opening day of their four-day Elite-A Ranji Trophy Cricket match here on Monday.
At close, Tamil Nadu openers, Abhinav Mukund (8) and S Anirduha (13) were at the crease.
Put in to bat on a sunny day this morning, Assam’s top order- Dheeraj Jadhav (4), Sridharan Sriram (14), Captain Amol Mazumdar (zero)-- failed miserably to leave the visitors tottering at 73 for four.
Debutant medium pacer Sunil Sam, trained by Australian Speedster Dennis Lillee, gave the hosts its first wicket, dismissing opener Jadhav, caught by keeper Dinesh Karthik.
Then on, Balaji, who maintained a steady line and length, dismissed Sriram, Mazumdar and then a settled opener, Parvez Aziz, caught by Subramaniam Badrinath, to push Assam at the back foot.
Aziz remained the top scorer making 36 runs off 87 balls studded with four boundaries.
From 85 for four at lunch and at one stage 118 for 4, Assam were reduced to 123 for seven.
Balaji in his second post lunch spell claimed three wickets in five overs, of which one was a maiden and gave away 14 runs.
Tarjinder Singh (25) and Dhiraj Goswami (25) resisted the attack for some time. Earlier, Deepak Sharma, who was run out for 27, added 45 runs for the fifth wicket in 18.3 overs.
For Tamil Nadu, Balaji remained chief wicket taker with 4 for 53 and Aushik Srinivasan, left arm orthodox spinner was impressive with 2 wickets for eight runs. Tamil Nadu Captain and wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik pouched four victims and was involved in a run out.
Brief Scores: Assam (first innings) 184 all out in 72.2 overs (Parvez Aziz 36, Deepak Sharma 27, Tarjinder Singh 25, Dhiraj Goswami 25, L./Balaji 4 for 53 and Aushik Srinivas 2 for 8)
Tamil Nadu (first innings) 21 without loss (A.Mukund batting 8 and S.Anirudha batting 13).