Gautam, Pandey flay Orissa

Gautam, Pandey flay Orissa

Karnataka batsmen blast centuries to power hosts to 157-run lead

Gautam, Pandey flay Orissa

Rising under pressure: Karnataka’s CM Gautam (left) and Manish Pandey celebrate after scoring brilliant centuries against Orissa on the second day of their Ranji Trophy tie at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday. dh photos/ Srikanta Sharma RA nervous overnight 18 for two was soon transformed into an alarming 54 for five by lunch as Orissa medium pacers ripped through the Karnataka top order. But Manish Pandey and CM Gautam crafted their fifth and fourth first-class hundreds respectively to realise a record 294 runs for the unbroken sixth-wicket alliance to spur Karnataka to 348 for five at close for a lead of 157 runs. Karnataka’s previous best sixth-wicket stand was 238, realised between a debutant Rahul Dravid and Karthik Jeshwanth against Maharashtra at Pune in 1990-91.

Solid in defence and fearless while attacking, Pandey (144 batting, 324m, 233b, 12x4, 5x6) and Gautam (144 batting, 284m, 193b, 21x4, 1x6) squeezed the life out of Orissa bowlers to enliven the Karnataka dressing room after a dreadful morning session. The maturity they showed while effecting the repair job was way beyond their adolescence. Both Pandey and Gautam took their time, rightly so, to assess the situation, bowlers and the nature of the pitch.

There were a few testing moments initially when Debasish Mohanty , Alok Sahoo and Basant Mohanty put the Karnataka lads’ powers of concentration to test with a steady off-stump line. But they came out of the probing period with flying colours, showing remarkable application.

But the period of consternation did not last long. Peach of a cover drive off Basant Mohanty and a powerful pull off Sahoo got Gautam going while Pandey broke the shackles with a slog-swept six off left-arm spinner Dhiraj Kumar. Those well-timed strokes seemed to instill oodles of confidence in them and from that point onwards they batted with a lot more assurance and freedom as not a single wicket was lost in the post-lunch session.

The lone moment of danger during their otherwise unyielding alliance was Gautam’s faint edge to Subhrajit Sahoo off Basant, but the stumper grassed the opportunity. 

Sensing the growing comfort of Pandey and Gautam against pace bowlers, Orissa skipper Shib Sundar Das introduced spinners into attack but that only helped the batsmen to cement their position, taking some quick runs. During this phase Gautam went ahead of Pandey, playing some lovely shots and the wicket-keeper batsman reached a well-deserved hundred with a crunching cut to the fence off Basant.

There was a touch of courage too to Gautam’s innings as a painful knee, suffered after a collision with Debasish while attempting a quick single, forced him to employ KL Rahul as runner for a large part of his innings. Soon, Pandey too reached the three-figure mark but in a more sedate fashion, turning Basant to square leg for a single to send the Karnataka dressing room into a delirium.

But before the two young champs came to their rescue, Karnataka were reeling under the onslaught of Orissa pacers. It was not that they possessed life-threatening pace, but the visitors’ bowlers were able to pitch the ball on the correct areas, creating a bundle of doubts in batsmen’s minds. They landed the cherry full and allowed it to swing and Robin Uthappa was the first victim on the day, driving Basant straight into the hands of Govind Poddar at second slip who held on to the chance after a heavy struggle.

Skipper Ganesh Satish, starting from his overnight seven, looked set to carve a big innings but an expansive drive away from the body off Sahoo put Poddar in business again at second slip. Amit Verma completely missed the line while trying to work Sahoo to leg side as the ball rearranged his woodwork, pushing Karnataka into a deep hole.

However, Orissa bowlers failed to plot the dismissals of Pandey and Gautam as Karnataka reached a position of strength when umpires ended the day's proceedings due to bad light.

SCORE BOARD

ORISSA (I Innings): 191 all out in 79.5 overs
KARNATAKA (I Innings O/n: 18/2): KB Pawan lbw D Mohanty 0 (1m, 2b); KL Rahul b Alok Sahoo 11 (34m, 22b, 2x4); Ganesh Satish c Poddar b Sahoo 25 (93m, 63b, 5x4); Robin Uthappa c Poddar b B Mohanty 9 (43m, 25b, 1x4); Manish Pandey (batting) 144 (324m, 233b, 12x4, 5x6); Amit Verma b Sahoo 5 (22m, 12b); CM Gautam (batting) 144 (284m, 193b, 21x4, 1x6); Extras (B-5, LB-3, NB-2) 10; Total (five wkts; 89.5 overs) 348
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Pawan), 2-18 (Rahul), 3-46 (Uthappa), 4-48 (Ganesh), 5-54 (Amit).
Bowling: Debashish Mohanty 24-4-64-1; Basant Mohanty 21-6-58-1 (nb-2); Alok Sahoo 17.5-3-68-3; Biplab Samantray 4-0-19-0; Dhirajkumar Singh 12-0-74-0; Rakesh Mohanty 9-0-47-0; Niranjan Behera 2-0-10-0.

Other Super League scores

Vadodara: A solid batting display enabled Baroda to post a challenging first innings score of 416 against Punjab in their Ranji Trophy Super League Group B match here on Thursday.  Conor Williams (75), Kedar Devdhar (65), Ambati Rayudu (79) and Pinal Shah (63) slammed half centuries
Brief scores: Group A: At Ahmedabad: Gujarat: 162/3 in 52 overs (Priyank Kirit Panchal 63, Niraj Patel 44; Ranadeb Bose 3-42) vs Bengal.
At Mumbai: Assam: 81/3 in 36 overs (Dheeraj Jadhav 25 n.o.; Abhishek Nayar 2-17) vs Mumbai.
At Chennai: Tamil Nadu: (O/n: 26/1) 244/2 in 87 overs (Abhinav Mukund 108 n.o., Subramaniam Badrinath 106 n.o.; Jai P Yadav 2-55) vs Railways.
Group B: At Vadodara: Baroda: 416 in 136.4 overs (Connor Williams 75, Kedar Devdhar 65, Ambati Rayudu 79, Pinal Shah 63; Sarabjit Ladda 5/118, Karan Goel 4/96) vs Punjab: 10/1 in 7 overs.

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