The battle lines engaged at about 12:30. At first, some of Suffren's captains hung back, not immediately joining in the line (as had also happened at Sadras), but eventually ten of his twelve ships were engaged against the 11 British ships. Monmouth was the first ship to quit the British line after being dismasted, and Superb also suffered significant damage in the early rounds. Hughes was able to regain advantage by ordering his fleet to wear ship, and the battle began to turn against the French. Around 6 pm a storm arose, and the combatants, close to a lee shore, broke off the battle to attend to the risks the storm presented. Darkness from the storm and then nightfall precluded further battle that day.