Vinay, Pawan help Karnataka wrest initiative

Visitors bundle out Maharashtra for a paltry 105 on opening day

Vinay, Pawan help Karnataka wrest initiative

Karnataka skipper Robin Uthappa did the right thing electing to field on a slightly damp morning. The bowlers, led by R Vinay Kumar (5/40), justified Uthappa’s call bundling Maharashtra out for a paltry 105. Karnataka made 125 for one at close with opener KB Pawan leading the way with a composed unbeaten 74.

The dismissal of their skipper Harshad Khadiwale mirrored the whole story of Maharashtra batting. The 20-year old was indecisive about the stroke to be played, and the vacillation resulted in him feathering Vinay to C M Gautam behind the stumps.
The subsequent top-order batsmen too seemed to be suffering from indecision, and Karnataka bowlers, especially Vinay, capitalised on it with a disciplined effort. The Davanagere lad moved the ball off the pitch away from batsmen, posing a tough challenge to the opposition.

Maharashtra’s best hope of putting a touch of respectability to the total rested on Kedar Jhadav. The stylish 23-year old had scored a match-saving hundred in the previous game against Saurashtra but he could not recreate any magic moments as Vinay snaffled him with a delivery that moved just enough to find the edge of his bat for Manish Pandey to complete a smart catch at slips.

Vinay removed Ankit Bawane and Ameya Shrikhande to complete a brilliant first spell that read 9-3-15-4, and with his new ball partner A Mithun jettisoning Rohan Bhosale, Maharashtra nose-dived to 30 for five just before the first drinks break.

Recovery from such a situation demands plenty of application and hard work, but there was none in the late order to mount a rescue mission. A 31-run partnership between Ganesh Gaikwad and Rohit Motwani was the highest in Maharashtra innings.
With the four pace bowlers utilising the conditions well, Uthappa did not have to turn to his most experienced bowler, Sunil Joshi, who became the most-capped Ranji Trophy player for Karnataka on the day. The match against Maharashtra was the left-arm spinner’s 105th Ranji game for the State, surpassing Brijesh Patel’s tally of 104.

Things got only better for Karnataka as their batsmen further pegged back Maharashtra, despite losing Uthappa early. The Karnataka skipper was harshly adjudged leg-before to left-arm paceman Samad Fallah and the batsman had to tear himself away from the crease. But the joy of early success did not last long for Maharashtra as K B Pawan and Ganesh Satish methodically dismantled the Maharashtra attack on a vastly improved pitch to fetch visitors the first innings lead, laying the foundation for a batting charge on the morrow.

Pawan was impressive while notching up a fifty of high class, laced with attractive shots and a remarkable awareness about the situation. With Satish too joining the party with some solid shots, Maharashtra soon faded away from the picture.
DH News Service

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