Karnataka batsmen make merry

Karnataka batsmen make merry

Ganesh, Binny, Verma slam tons as hosts dash Uttar Pradeshs slim hopes

The outside threat of a collapse systematically dismantled inside the first hour, Karnataka buried Uttar Pradesh under an avalanche of runs at the JNNCE ground on Saturday.

Uttar Pradesh came into the final day of the Ranji Trophy Group A league contest needing nothing less than a victory to advance to the quarterfinals, at defending champions Rajasthan’s expense. The mini-miracle that they would have required on a batting beauty that might not have produced a result for a few more days did not eventuate as the former champions were eliminated at the group stage for a second straight year.

Skipper Ganesh Satish, the stylish Amit Verma and the irrepressible Stuart Binny all hammered hundreds as Uttar Pradesh felt the full fury of the stinging Karnataka willows that have been silent for a while now. With the quarterfinals – against Madhya Pradesh or Haryana, the opponents to be confirmed on Monday – slated to start on January 2, Karnataka topped 400 for the first time in five completed innings, blasting their way to 561 for five when play was called off after Binny was dismissed for a career-best 189 (232m, 161b, 24x4, 5x6).

Binny’s third hundred of the season had come on the back of a wonderful third-wicket alliance between Satish (190, 519m, 367b, 26x4) and Verma (102, 221m, 180b, 17x4), who knew they had to negotiate a tricky early period when they resumed on 158 for two, 53 ahead.

Satish survived a confident leg before shout off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and an equally concerted appeal for caught behind off Rudra Pratap Singh, who bowled his heart out during two spells in the morning session but was also unfortunate to see another very good leg before shout against Verma being turned down.

All this transpired within the first 15 minutes. After that, there was no joy for the bowlers as the batsmen got on the bike and sped away.

Satish’s perhaps was the most significant knock, from a personal and a team perspective. The captain must have felt some pressure, being the only top-order bat not to have touched three-figures this season. His relief and delight at reaching hundred was all too obvious as he leapt up and punched the air, celebrating a welcome return to big runs with the knockouts imminent.

Where Satish was measured, Verma was positively in top gear. Sizzling drives marked his third ton this year, the ball flying off his bat as if turbo-charged and keeping his tryst with the boundary boards with unerring regularity.

Overnight 46, he scored a further 56 off just 73 deliveries with 10 fours, but wastefully threw his hand away in the first over with the second new ball sent down by Rudra Pratap. Verma had helped Satish add 179 (221m, 324b) for the third wicket, but the timing and the manner of his dismissal must rankle the intelligent young man.

Karnataka were 141 ahead and the new ball could have wreaked more damage, but the red-hot Binny, who added 253 runs off 287 deliveries in 198 minutes for the fourth wicket with Satish, ensured there were no dramatics as he cut loose with a vengeance.

Ganesh made his stately way past his previous highest 141, but it was Binny who had the massive crowd on its feet with another exhibition of crisp, clean, uninhibited ball-striking.

Piyush Chawala, the hapless leg-spinner, bore the brunt of the onslaught as Binny raced to his hundred off just 105 deliveries, comfortably outscoring Satish who by then had set his sights on a double ton.

Having survived a possible run out, Satish was eventually smartly caught by Amir Khan behind the stumps, a little after the wicket-keeper had shown great sportsmanship in calling Binny back on 141.

Umpire Pachim Pathak deemed the catch had been completed cleanly but Amir admitted he had taken it on the bounce – well done to the young man – though like his captain, there was no double ton for Binny either. Perhaps, both men have saved it for the next game!

score board

KARNATAKA (I Innings): 314 all out in 95 overs
UTTAR PRADESH (I Innings): 419 all out in 116.4 overs
KARNATAKA (II Innings, O/n: 158/2): Bharath Chipli c Amir b RP Singh 4 (10m, 10b, 1x4), KB Pawan c Kaif b Imtiyaz 34 (109m, 74b, 5x4), Ganesh Satish c Amir b Imtiyaz 190 (519m, 367b, 26x4), Amit Verma c Amir b RP Singh 102 (221m, 180b, 17x4), Stuart Binny c Srivastava b Chawla 189 (232m, 161b, 24x4, 5x6), CM Gautam (not out) 30 (31m, 25b, 6x4). Extras (B-5, LB-4, W-1, NB-2) 12. Total (for 5 wkts, 135.5 overs) 561.

Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Chipli), 2-67 (Pawan), 3-246 (Verma), 4-499 (Satish), 5-561 (Binny).
Bowling: Rudra Pratap Singh 30-10-82-2, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 28-4-71-0, Imtiyaz Ahmed 29-1-145-2, Piyush Chawla 35.5-1-195-1 (w-1, nb-2), Suresh Raina 7-1-24-0, Parvinder Singh 6-0-35-0.

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