Karnataka ride on Mithun's heroics

Karnataka ride on Mithun's heroics

20-year-old debutant picks up a hat-trick to emulate Javagal Srinath in 185-run win over UPKarnataka ride on Mithuns heroics

The express paceman had emulated his hero, Javagal Srinath, on Wednesday with a five-wicket burst on first-class debut. There was some unfinished business, though, and it was Mission Accomplished on Friday when Mithun joined Srinath as the only Karnataka bowlers to take a hat-trick in their respective maiden Ranji Trophy encounters.
His second five-wicket haul of the match, which he finished with figures of 11 for 181, cut out all escape routes for Uttar Pradesh as Karnataka began their Super League campaign in emphatic fashion, with a crushing 185-run triumph that aptly illustrated the superiority of Rahul Dravid’s men over their counterparts during the duration of the game.

The end came 34 minutes before tea on the final day when Sunil Joshi trapped Shallabh Srivastava in front, giving Karnataka the full complement of five points here with Uttar Pradesh bowled out for 252 chasing 438. That the result was achieved away, and against last year’s beaten finalists, should do wonders for Karnataka’s morale and confidence ahead of their next game against Delhi, beginning in the national capital on Tuesday. Mithun was unrecognisable as the extraordinary strike force of the first innings during his first two spells on Friday.

Guilty of bowling too short as he tested out the bounce in the surface, or too full in over-compensation, he was picked off by Mohammad Kaif, determined to make amends for his third-ball blob in the first essay.

Later, the pugnacious Bhuvneshwar Kumar too set about denting the 20-year-old’s figures until, dramatically and without warning, Mithun exploded in his 16th over. Piyush Chawla was the first victim in his three-in-a-row sequence, well caught at second slip by B Akhil. Wicket-keeper Amir Khan was left awestruck as a brilliant yorker zeroed in and plucked out his leg-stump, Rudra Pratap Singh was equally clueless as another yorker uprooted the off-stump to complete the hat-trick, and a ten-wicket haul on debut.
Mithun added Bhuvneshwar’s wicket for good measure, giving him a second five-for in the game. Talk about impact!

Mithun’s impact until that hat-trick had been less than noticeable as UP resumed at 30 for one.  Senior pro R Vinay Kumar drew first blood by getting rid of Ravikant Shukla, and Joshi dismissed the other overnight batsman, Shivakant Shukla, as Karnataka grabbed the early initiative. Kaif defied them with gusto, finding that extra fraction of a second to play his strokes with panache.

Mithun in particular copped serious punishment, and for a while, it appeared as if UP might somehow summon the determination and gumption to bat out time. Dravid, however, marshalled his resources well and sprang a surprise by bringing on occasional leggie Amit Verma ahead of offie Udit Patel. Verma responded by accounting for Parvinder Singh, and the end was nigh when Vinay at mid-on took an excellent catch off Patel to send Kaif on his way. Dravid gave Patel a long bowl and  kept Joshi’s left-arm spin in reserve for battles ahead, a ploy that worked. Even as Bhuvneshwar was fighting on, Mithun turned on the heat and produced that magical sequence of W, W, W as the spirit completely went out of the home team.

KARNATAKA (I Innings): 405 all out in 103 overs.
UTTAR PRADESH (I Innings): 279 all out in 86.5 overs.
KARNATAKA (II Innings): 311/5 decl in 63 overs.

UTTAR PRADESH (II Innings, O/n: 30/1): T Srivastava b Mithun 13 (23m, 17b, 2x4), S Shukla lbw Joshi 35 (109m, 72b, 7x4), R Shukla lbw Vinay 10 (47m, 28b, 1x4), Md Kaif c Vinay b Patel 54 (141m, 109b, 8x4), P Singh c&b Verma 14 (55m, 45b, 2x4), B Kumar c Dravid b Mithun 63 (107m, 85b, 7x4, 2x6), P Chawla c Akhil b Mithun 17 (33m, 18b, 2x4), A Khan b Mithun 0 (1m, 1b), RP Singh b Mithun 0 (1m, 1b), P Gupta (not out) 11 (33m, 17b, 2x4), S Srivastava lbw Joshi 9 (11m, 11b, 2x4). Extras (B-18, W-3, NB-5) 26. Total (all out, 66.2 overs) 252.

Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Tanmay), 2-46 (Ravikant), 3-85 (Shivakant), 4-124 (Parvinder), 5-168 (Kaif), 6-205 (Chawla), 7-205 (Amir), 8-205 (RP Singh), 9-241 (Bhuvneshwar).
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 17-3-51-1, A Mithun 19-1-95-5 (w-3, nb-3), Sunil Joshi 8.2-1-16-2, B Akhil 6-3-9-0, Amit Verma 5-1-11-1 (nb-2), Udit Patel 11-0-52-1.