Joshi guts Baroda, Karnataka eye outright win

Veteran Sunil Joshi scalps four Baroda wickets to enter 600-wicket club

man of the moment: Karnataka’s Sunil Joshi acknowledges the crowd after taking his 600th first-class wicket at the Gangotri Glades in Mysore on Thursday. dh photo/ Prashanth HG

At a time when they needed to show application and heart for fight, Baroda batsmen succumbed to their own frailities and the persistence of the Karnataka bowlers, ending their first-innings on a disappointing 169 all out, a deficit of 88 runs. Karnataka in their second innings were 41 for one at close of the second day’s play of this Ranji Trophy Super League group ‘B’ match for an overall lead of 129.

Baroda needed a solid opening alliance to put Karnataka under pressure, but for some strange reason, Connor Williams and Jaykishen Kolsawala seemed to be in great strife.
The Karnataka pacers neither bowled at a red-hot pace nor did they engage in intimidating bumper warfare, but they did maintain an exemplary line and that was enough to generate doubts in the minds of the Baroda batsmen.

In fact, Kolsawala could not hit a boundary till the 59th delivery he faced and at the other end, the experienced Williams too struggled for rhythm before edging skipper R Vinay Kumar to Amit Verma at slip. However, the dismissal followed a brief period of consolidation as Kolsawala, who began to look increasingly comfortable, and Kedar Devdhar shared an entertaining 46-run partnership for the second wicket.

Devdhar was the enforcer, playing some powerful shots all around the park. But such a cameo was tough to last long and the knock met its inevitable end when vastly impressive left-arm pacer Sreenath Arvind snared him. Despite those two wickets, Baroda were still in a comfortable position at lunch, 91 for two.

But the post-lunch session saw a sharp turn in Baroda’s fortunes as they lost three more wickets while adding 61 runs. It was Arvind who triggered the slide, jettisoning Kolsawala. The right-hander, dropped on 29 by Robin Uthappa at third slip off Abhimanyu Mithun, could not exploit his reprieve as he feathered Arvind to Manish Pandey at second slip.

The dismissal of Kolsawala seemed to have pushed the subsequent Baroda batsmen into an abyss of self-doubt, adopting an inexplicably defensive mode when they should have played with a lot more intent. Their dour tactics also hampered the run-flow and the wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Rakesh Solanki made matters worse for the visitors.

Even when wobbling at 152 for five at tea, Baroda might have hoped for a late-order resistance to narrow the gap. But with only a set of inexperienced batsmen remaining, veteran Sunil Joshi sensed his opportunity to wreak havoc. The left-arm spinner produced a beguiling post-tea spell (4-1-14-4) to set off a dramatic Baroda collapse.

Baroda lost their remaining five wickets for a mere 17 runs with Joshi, who completed 600 first-class wickets on the day, accounting for four of them. Joshi’s bag of tricks was too hot to handle for the Baroda late order even on a pitch that offered little help to the bowlers, apart from occasional disconcerting bounce.

Karnataka had 18 overs to negotiate in the final session and got off the blocks in positive manner. The time he spent at the crease in the first innings seemed to have boosted KB Pawan’s confidence and the opener began with a four to square-leg off Murtuja Vahora. Uthappa’s dismissal might have come as a dampener, but at this stage Karnataka are well ahead of their opponents.

SCORE BOARD

KARNATAKA (I Innings): 257 all out in 88.1 overs

BARODA (I Innings): Connor Williams c Verma b Vinay 11 (45m, 38b, 2x4), Jaikishen Kolsawala c Pandey b Arvind 30 (153m, 97b, 2x4, 1x6), Kedar Devdhar c Uthappa b Arvind 36 (54m, 34b, 7x4), Rakesh Solanki lbw Verma 28 (126m, 85b, 4x4), Ambati Rayudu c Gautam b Vinay 13 (93m, 71b, 1x4), Pinal Shah c Pandey b Joshi 15 (46m, 37b, 3x4), Ketan Panchal lbw Joshi 12 (43m, 28b, 2x4), Gagandeep Singh c Ganesh b Joshi 0 (11m, 5b), Sankalp Vohra c Gautam b Mithun 9 (23m, 14b, 1x4), Murtuja Vahora c Mithun b Joshi 7 (7m, 8b, 1x4), Bhargav Bhat (not out) 0 (11m, 7b). Extras (LB-1, W-1, NB-6) 8.
Total (all out, 69.4 overs) 169.

Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Williams), 2-61 (Devdhar), 3-91 (Kolsawala), 4-121 (Solanki), 5-132 (Rayudu), 6-152 (Shah), 7-153 (Gagandeep), 8-154 (Panchal), 9-162 (Vahora).
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 16-7-16-2, A Mithun 18.4-5-59-1 (w-1, nb-6), S Arvind 15-6-41-2, Stuart Binny 3-0-16-0, Sunil Joshi 15-5-31-4, Amit Verma 2-1-5-1.

KARNATAKA (II Innings): KB Pawan (batting) 15 (70m, 59b, 2x4), Robin Uthappa c Shah b Vahora 7 (33m, 16b), Ganesh Satish (batting) 17 (36m, 28b, 3x4). Extras (LB-1, NB-1) 2. Total (for 1 wkt, 17 overs) 41.

Fall of wicket: 1-15 (Uthappa).

Bowling: Murtuja Vahora 7-2-20-1, Sankalp Vohra 6-1-13-0, Bhargav Bhat 2-0-3-0 (nb-1), Gagandeep Singh 2-0-4-0.

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