An unbeaten 239-run sixth-wicket partnership between Lokesh Rahul (131 not out) and Karun Nair (130 not out) piled on Tamil Nadu's agony as Karnataka reached a formidable total of 323/5 at stumps on Day 2 of the Ranji Trophy final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.
Chasing Tamil Nadu's first innings total of 134, the defending champions were tottering at 45/4 overnight. To add to that, the day began with Tamil Nadu reducing Karnataka to 84/5 as Abhimanyu Mithun (39) was picked up by off-spinner Malolan Rangarajan.
However, right-hander Nair joined Rahul in the middle and started the rebuilding phase of Karnataka. Both batsmen looked at ease on the green strip that witnessed 14 wickets falling on Day 1.
A watchful Nair kept out the good swinging deliveries but continued rotating the strike. Rahul was at his fluent best once again as he hit 13 fours and a six en route.
Nair sparkled late in his innings, after he had a good look at the opposition bowling attack and hit 19 boundaries in his knock.
The Tamil Nadu bowlers toiled hard but even veteran pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji could not force a breakthrough.
Brief scores: Tamil Nadu 134 all out vs Karnataka 323/5 (Lokesh Rahul 131 not out, Karun Nair 130 not out; Lakshmipathy Balaji 3/68)