Gritty Karnataka script first victory of season

Gautam's wards go past Odisha by four wickets in a thriller

Gritty Karnataka script first victory of season

Karnataka’s habit of keeping things to the end nearly cost them dear as they just about managed to hold their nerve to edge out Odisha in their Group ‘A’ Raji Trophy encounter at the DRIEMS Ground here on Sunday.

Chasing 127 for a win and six points, Karnataka’s famed batting line-up stuttered before Kunal Kapoor (11) and Abrar Kazi (16) stood firm to carry the visitors to 130 for six in 41.3 overs.

With this win -- thier first this season -- Karnataka moved from seventh to fourth on the table with 13 points from four games.

Earlier in the day, the chances of them climbing up the table seemed increasingly unlikely as Odisha staged a gritty fight from a seemingly hopeless position.
After Karnataka’s bowlers got into their rhythm and got rid of Odisha’s batsmen for 279, Karnataka had what then seemed like an easy task. That, however, was far from what unfolded later.

With opener Robin Uthappa struggling with an injury to his right knee, Mayank Agarwal (5) and KL Rahul (29) took strike, but former was sent back to the pavilion with the score on six.

Ganesh Satish (34), who had been demoted to seventh in the batting order due to lack of form, was promoted to his original spot -- one down -- and the right-hander quickly found his footing. He forged a healthy partnership with Rahul, but just when things seemed to be going well for Karnataka, Rahul, who has been in fine nick so far, was bowled by Deepak Behera.

Soon after Rahul’s dismissal, Satish offered a simple catch to Girjia Rout off Basant Mohanty to leave Karnataka in a position of discomfort with the score reading 83 for three.

Skipper CM Gautam (13) tried his hand at resurrecting the innings but he failed and so did first-innings centurion Manish Pandey (12). In a precarious position, Karnataka opted to let Uthappa bat but the right-hander went back to the hut without troubling the scorers.

The tail-enders of Karnataka were now within the strike range of Odisha bowlers, but Kazi, who had played a stellar role in helping Karnataka claim innings lead against Vidarbha at Nagpur last week, once again answered the call. Kazi and Kapoor strung together a crucial 21-run partnership to see Karnataka through yet another artificial thriller. Karnataka next face Haryana at Lahli.
Uthappa injured
R Vinay Kumar will lead Karnataka in their Ranji Trophy match against Haryana at Lahli from December 6, adds DHNS in Bangalore.

The return of Vinay, who missed the ties against Vidarbha and Odisha due to his national duty, meant pacer Ronit More was left out of the squad of 15. However, the injury to Robin Uthappa, who made a fine half-century against Vidarbha, came as a blow to Karnataka. Uthappa has injured his right knee and has been advised three weeks’ rest. The state senior selection committee that met here on Saturday, brought all-rounder Stuart Binny in place of Uthappa.

Binny had missed the matches against Vidarbha and Odisha due to a right hamstring injury.

DH News Service
Squad: R Vinay Kumar (capt), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Kunal Kapoor, Manish Pandey, Stuart Binny, CM Gautam (vice-capt/ wicket-keeper), Ganesh Satish, A Mithun, HS Sharath, KP Appanna, S Arvind, Abrar Kazi, Karun Nair, R Samarth. Batting coach: J Arun Kumar. Bowling coach: Mansur Ali Khan.

Comments (+)