Karthik's fiery 196 puts TN in command

Cricket: KSCA Invitation meet: Robin Uthappa makes a quickfire 92 for Air India

 
ENFORCER: TNCA XI’s KB Arun Karthik slog sweeps en route to his hundred against Railways in the KSCA Invitation tournament at the M Chinnswamy stadium on Monday. DH photoWith the right-handed KB Arun Karthik (196, 209b, 20x4, 2x6) in the forefront with a near double-century, TNCA XI amassed an incredible 550 for seven in their 100 overs to all but assure themselves of victory, unless the elements play a part on the final day on Tuesday. And to think that they were asked to bat first by Railways skipper Sanjay Bangar!

Standing in for Yere Goud, Bangar had plenty of time to rue his decision as the TNCA batsmen went on the rampage, treating the Railway bowling -- missing Anureet Singh -- with scant respect.

S Anirudha set the early tempo with a blistering 81 (94b, 14x4), but it was Karthik who was the undisputed star with a chanceless innings that ended on 196 to a tired, ambitious stroke that saw him drag the ball on to his stumps.

Attractive runs

Karthik doesn’t cut an intimidating figure at the crease, but in batting stature, he stood tall, playing every shot in the book with surety and composure. While he didn’t quite plough the lone furrow as most batsmen helped themselves to attractive runs on a deceptively grassy surface, he was the one that stood out for his concentration, application and hunger until perhaps his first false shot cost him dear.

Karthik and his skipper Dinesh Kaarthick (45), put on 130 for the third wicket, which was followed by a stand of 136 for the next between the number three and S Suresh Kumar (66). Later on, the left-handed R Prasanna played some handsome strokes of his own to remain undefeated on 61 when Railways, gratefully, finished bowling their overs.

The run-fest extended to the NRA grounds as well, where Air India Sports Club, last year’s runners-up, piled up for 523 for nine against Gujarat Cricket Association. There were no centuries, but local lad Robin Uthappa made 92 (82b, 17x4, 1x6) and Manvinder Bisla contributed a more sedate 97 (140b, 11x4, 2x6), the duo adding 136 for the third wicket. Raiphy Vincent Gomez slammed 118 (154b, 12x4, 2x6) to pilot Kerala Cricket Association to 369 for nine in their 100 overs against ONGC.

DH News Service

Brief scores: At Chinnaswamy stadium: Tamil Nadu Cricket Association XI: 550/7 in 100 overs (Abhinav Mukund 29, S Anirudha 81, KB Arun Karthik 196, Dinesh Kaarthick 45, S Suresh Kumar 66, R Prasanna 61 n.o.; Ranjith Mallaya 2-117, P Das 2-90) vs Railways Sports Promotion Board.

At NRA grounds: Air India Sports Club: 523/9 in 100 overs (Robin Uthappa 92, Manvinder Bisla 97, Hrishikesh Kanitkar 60, Prashanth Naik 72, Shafiq Khan 75, Ankit Chavan 41 n.o.; Amit Singh 3-81, Faisal Dudeet 2-84, Niraj Patel 3-47) vs Gujarat Cricket Association.
At IAF grounds: Kerala Cricket Association: 369/9 in 100 overs (Sambasiva Sharma 68, Rakesh KJ 32, Praveen Achuthan 46, Raiphy Vincent Gomez 118, P Prashanth 58; Sarandeep Singh 3-90, Rahul T 2-66, Mithun Manhas 2-32) vs ONGC.

At RWF grounds: Dr DY Patil Cricket Academy: 253 all out in 89.3 overs (Abhishek Raut 84, Sarvesh Damle 32, Yogesh Takawale 28, Shoaib Shaikh 25; Amol Shinde 4-69, Pragyan Ojha P 3-80, Ashwin Yadav 2-41) vs Hyderabad Cricket Association: 30/2 in 12.2 overs.

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