Karnataka batsmen stumble
Uttar Pradesh in command as visitors collapse to 181 all out
Karnataka threw away a wonderful opportunity to take control of their Group B Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh by putting up a disappointing batting display here at the Victoria Park on Sunday.
A good job with the ball was undone by the batsmen who simply didn’t apply themselves on an admittedly pace-friendly surface. Uttar Pradesh, overnight 273/9, added 10 more runs before being dismissed for 283 in 98.1 overs, left-arm spinner KP Appanna (3/56) accounting for the last man with his first ball in the morning. While it was always going to be a challenging total given the conditions, Karnataka had no business conceding a whopping 102-run lead on first innings as they were shot out for a sorry 181 in 54.4 overs.
Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the toast of the hosts’ camp, returning an impressive 5/36 spread over two incisive spells. In their second essay, UP lost three quick wickets, including that of skipper Suresh Raina, for 55 runs but still held all the aces with them having extended their lead to 157. First innings centurion Mohammad Kaif (18 batting) was holding fort for the home side. While it’s going to take a lot from Karnataka to salvage the situation, dismissing Kaif early holds the key to their revival.
Only Manish Pandey (54, 97b, 8x4, 1x6) and Amit Verma (52, 90b, 9x4) showed some stomach for fight with a 90-run association for the fourth wicket after Bhuvneshwar had rocked Karnataka’s boat with two early strikes. But the effort wasn’t even good enough to take the visitors closer to UP score. Pandey and Verma, the two batsmen desperately in search of runs, began tentatively. They faced a severe test of some quality swing bowling by Bhuvneshwar, Ankit Rajput and Imtiaz Ahmed (3/53) in the early stages of their respective innings but began to play freely as they grew in confidence.
So long as the left-right combination was going strong nothing seemed to be wrong with the pitch. The pacers, who appeared menacing and even unplayable at one stage, appeared helpless as the duo not only denied wickets but picked up runs at a fast clip.
Against the run of play, Pandey poked at Rajput’s away-shaping delivery to be caught behind while six runs later Verma had his furniture disturbed as Piyush Chawla’s ball rolled on to hit the stumps after the southpaw had defended it. Karnataka couldn’t recover from these two blows in quick succession, slipping from a comfortable 121/3 to 181 all out at the tea interval.
CM Gautam (24 n.o.) looked set to script another rescue act but the right-hander was left stranded as batsmen made a beeline to the pavilion. The stumper’s misery was complete when he was hit on his upper lip while keeping to Appanna in UP’s second innings. He sustained a minor cut and Robin Uthappa manned the wickets for the rest of the innings. Gautam, however, is expected to take the field on Monday.
While Karnataka batsmen will be kicking themselves on their backs for letting go an opportunity to get on top of the game, no praise can be too high for the way Bhuvneshwar bowled. He was particularly impressive with the new ball that he got to move away late at good pace. He opened up KB Pawan with the third ball of the innings and had double-centurion against Tamil Nadu, Ganesh Satish, dismissed in similar fashion in an opening spell of 9-4-15-2. The right-arm paceman, generating some reverse swing with the old ball, returned to wipe out the tail in a spell of 8.4-3-21-3.
It’s not yet a hopeless situation for Karnataka but only the brave will put their money on them.
UTTAR PRADESH (I Innings; O/n: 273/9): Imtiaz Ahmed c Gautam b Appanna 17 (76m, 34b, 2x4, 1x6), Ankit Rajput (not out) 0 (42m, 35b). Extras (B-10, LB-7, NB-1, W-2) 20. Total (all out, 98.1 overs) 283.
Fall of wickets: 9-267 (Kaif).
Bowling: Ronit More 17-7-39-1 (w-1), HS Sharath 28-8-67-5 (nb-1, w-1), Stuart Binny 16-2-53-1, K Gowtham 10-2-29-0, KP Appanna 22.1-1-56-3, Amit Verma 3-0-11-0, KB Pawan 2-0-11-0.
KARNATAKA (I Innings): KB Pawan c Amir b Bhuvneshwar 0 (2m, 3b), Robin Uthappa lbw
Ahmed 12 (49m, 22b, 2x4), Ganesh Satish c Amir b Bhuvaneshwar 5 (8m, 9b, 1x4), Manish Pandey c Amir b Rajput 54 (136m, 97b, 8x4, 1x6), Amit Verma b Chawla 52 (111m, 90b, 9x4), Stuart Binny c & b Ahmed 21 (45m, 33b, 3x4), CM Gautam (not out) 24 (75m, 41b, 3x4), K Gowtham lbw Ahmed 6 (11m, 9b, 1x4), Ronit More b Bhuvaneshwar 0 (6m, 6b), KP Appanna c Raina b Bhuvneshwar 0 (5m, 4b), HS Sharath c Raina b Bhuvneshwar 5 (17m, 15b, 1x4). Extras (B-1, NB-1) 2. Total (all out, 54.4 overs) 181.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Pawan), 2-6 (Ganesh), 3-28 (Uthappa), 4-121 (Pandey), 5-127 (Verma), 6-154 (Binny), 7-170 (Gowtham), 8-171 (More), 9-173 (Appanna).
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 17.4-7-36-5, Ankit Rajput 14-1-49-1, Imtiaz Ahmed 12-1-53-3, Piyush Chawla 9-1-38-1 (nb-1), Ali Murtaza 2-1-4-0.
UTTAR PRADESH (II Innings): Mukul Dagar (run out) 18 (64m, 35b, 3x4), Amir Khan c Pawan b More 5 (9m, 9b, 1x4), Mohammad Kaif (batting) 18 (97m, 60b, 2x4), Suresh Raina c & b Gowtham 8 (36m, 24b), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (batting) 1 (4m, 4b). Extras (B-4, LB-1) 5. Total (for 3 wkts, 22 overs) 55.
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Amir), 2-38 (Dagar), 3-53 (Raina). Bowling: HS Sharath 7-1-16-0, Ronit More 3-0-12-1, Stuart Binny 6-0-14-0, KP Appanna 5-1-8-0, K Gowtham 1-1-0-1.