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Baba Aparajith, who registered a fifty in his previous match against Andhra, scored another half century – 19th in first-class cricket – as Tamil Nadu ended their opening day of their Round 4 Elite B Ranji Trophy 2018-19 match against Bengal at 218/7 on Wednesday.

Opting to bat, Tamil Nadu were off to a slow start. Abhinav Mukund failed to capitalise on his stay and fell for 9 to a catch by Kousik Ghosh off Ishan Porel.

Aparajith joined Kaushik Gandhi as the duo stitched 73 runs to steady the innings. Kaushik, who was trapped leg before off Porel, departed after a patient 51 off 128. Bengal struck back two overs later after captain Baba Indrajith was castled by Pradipta Pramanik.

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N Jagadeesan and Aparajith shared a 50-run stand. However, with wickets falling at the other end, Aparajith stood his ground to see the day through. His 81 off 231 boundaries had only five boundaries and one six.

For Bengal, Porel was the pick of the bowlers three wickets in his 21 overs going for 29 runs.

Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 218/7 (Baba Aparajith 81*; Ishan Porel 3/29) versus Bengal