Karnataka struggle

Maharashtra snatch crucial lead

Kazi Shamsuna grabbed a five-for as Maharashtra virtually sealed their spot in the final of the Cooch Behar Trophy under-19 tournament here on Tuesday.

The off-spinner was the wrecker-in-chief with five for 72 while left-arm spinner Jagdish Zope supported him well with three for 79 to pin hosts Karnataka down on the third and penultimate day of their semifinal clash at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

However, things didn’t appear so gloom at the beginning of the day for Karnataka, who threw away a fine start before collapsing to 273 all out in 107 overs at the stroke of tea. The overnight pair of D Nischal (61) and Abhinav Manohar (41) raised Karnataka hopes with a 95-run stand for the second wicket, the duo appearing in little trouble whatsoever.

Just when things appeared to be going Karnataka’s way, Kazi brought the visitors back after trapping Nischal leg before in the 55th over. Manohar also fell LBW to Zope in the next over and Karnataka, after a brief fightback, just failed get back on track.

KN Bharath (56) and Kranti Kumar (32) showed some stomach for a battle, stitching together 81 runs for the fifth wicket but post that wickets just kept tumbling as Maharashtra opened up a commanding 203-run lead.

Although Maharashtra wobbled themselves to 50/3 in their second essay, an overall lead of 253 left them just one step away from entering the final, barring any major shocks.

Brief scores: Maharashtra: 476 all out in 152.5 overs and 50/3 in 26 overs (Suchith J 2-8) vs Karnataka: 273 all out in 107 overs (D Nischal 61, Abhinav Manohar 41, KN Bharath 56, Kranti Kumar 32; Jagdish Zope 3-79, Kazi Shamsuma 5-72).

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