Clinical Karnataka complete formalities

Clinical Karnataka complete formalities

Cricket Ranji Trophy

It was just a matter of when rather than if. Having arrived at a sniffing distance of victory, Karnataka completed a comprehensive innings and 51-run win over Railways, just eight overs into the second session of third day’s play of the Group ‘A’ Ranji Elite Division match here at the Karnail Singh Stadium.

KP Appanna, coming off a five-wicket burst in the first innings, once again proved the hosts’ nemesis claiming his maiden 10-wicket haul on Saturday. Unable to come to terms with the young bowler, Railways, overnight 33/2 after following on, tumbled to 162 all out to suffer their second big defeat in as many matches following a 10-wicket drubbing last week by Mumbai at the same venue. The innings win fetched Karnataka six points, including a bonus point. At the moment, the former champions are at the top of Group ‘A’ table with nine points, including the three against Rajasthan in their opener.

On a wearing pitch, the Railways’ batsmen didn’t have either the skill or the fortitude, managing a match aggregate of 296 in reply to Karnataka’s first innings score of 347 all out that was mainly built on the aggressive 117 by Robin Uthappa.

If the dashing opener set up the match for the visitors with a crucial knock, his fellow Kodava finished off the job in style prising out 11 wickets for 107, including 6/68 in the second innings on the penultimate day. Unlike on Friday, when the 22-year-old got amongst wickets with the first ball he bowled, Appanna had to work a little hard for the first of his six wickets on the day.

Skipper Sanjay Bangar and overnight batsman Shivakant Shukla showed some positive intent to deny Karnataka any immediate success. The youngster was also guilty of getting into a defensive mode after the batsmen creamed him to the fence on a couple of occasions. Having lured the batsmen to their doom with flighted deliveries on a slow-turner, Appanna decided to go flat when Bangar and Shukla took him on.

The 16-over resistance, however, ended when the bowler slipped in an armer, and hit Bangar low on the pads to win a leg-before appeal. This was the opening Karnataka needed to run through the home team’s line-up. A compact-looking Shukla was smartly snapped up at short mid-on by a diving KB Pawan, while Yere Goud’s stint came to an end six runs later, leaving Railways precariously at 141 for six.

With Jai Prakash Yadav in an attacking mood, the only point of interest was if Railways, needing 72 more to make Karnataka bat again, would avoid the innings defeat. The slim hopes went up in smoke when Appanna trapped the veteran batsman in front with the first ball after lunch.

Four balls later he prised out Murali Kartik to complete 10 wickets for the match. He wasn’t done yet though. Three overs later, the young spinner clipped Mahesh Rawat’s bails to dismiss the last of Railways’ recognised batsmen. Amit Verma then pulled the curtains down on the proceedings drawing last-man Arlen Konwar out of the crease for CM Gautam to effect his second stumping of the innings. A batsman light after packing the side with spinners to suit their designer track, Railways, yet to get amongst points this season, were left to rue their ploy. Karnataka now travel to Mumbai for their third match beginning November 17. This will be the first match between the two sides after the high-voltage final in 2009-10 in Mysore.