India discard Dinesh Karthik led a fightback by Tamil Nadu against 40-time champions Mumbai in their Group B Ranji Trophy cricket league game after left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar struck big blows to leave the visitors struggling on day one here today.
Dinesh Karthik in action
Led by Baba Inderjit after regular captain and opener Abhinav Mukund pulled out of the game at the MCA-BKC ground due to indisposition, TN lost India Test opener Murali Vijay cheaply before recovering to 104 for 1.
But Dabholkar struck thrice in quick succession to reduce Tamil Nadu, who were asked to bat first, to 107 for 4 before the visitors ended the day at 249 for six by riding on a responsible, unbeaten knock of 76 by Karthik.
Baba Aparajith, who opened the innings with Vijay in the absence of Mukund, made 62 off 124 balls with nine fours and, after his dismissal at 107, it was left to Karthik - who struck 8 fours and a six in his 141-ball essay - to pull TN out of the rut.
At stumps, Karthik and Malolan Rangarajan (12 not out) were holding fort.
For Mumbai Dabhokar, who was chosen instead of Harmeet Singh who was unimpressive in the innings win over Punjab in Mumbai's previous game, ended the day with impressive figures of 4 for 67.
Mumbai medium pacers Shardul Thakur, who sent back Vijay for 8 caught behind with only 20 on board, and Balwinder Singh Sandhu took the other two wickets to fall.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 249 for 6 (B Aparajith 62, K Gandhi 31, Dinesh Karthik not out 76, J Koushik 39, M Rangarajan not out 12; V Dabholkar 4 for 67).