We were trying to give as less runs as possible: Vinay

Looking at the manner R Vinay Kumar reacted to some of the queries at the end of fourth day’s play, it was difficult to imagine he had just joined the exclusive club of 300-wicket takers in first-class cricket. And more importantly, his four-wicket haul (4/84) had brought back Karnataka into the Ranji Trophy final.

“Hopefully you might have watched the game,” he said with a bit of grumpiness when asked about the defensive field settings by him during Maharashtra’s second innings. Trailing by 210 runs, Maharashtra not only wiped off the deficit but established a 62-run lead though they are still way behind to make Karnataka sweat having lost six of their wickets. “It’s a four-day (old) game. The last four days, it was very difficult for batsmen to get runs. That’s why wherever they could get boundaries, we put the fielders so that they could get as less runs as possible,” he analysed.

What further annoyed him was when a reporter pointed out that Maharashtra had managed more runs (on the fourth day) than Karnataka did on the third day. “What are you trying to say? I know what you said but do you want to say we played badly or they played well? Look, they didn’t have anything to lose. They just went and threw the bat around. If we had been in their position, we would also have thrown our bats from ball one, right? That’s what they did and we’re very happy that we got six wickets,” he reasoned.

When Vinay was batting in the morning, the umpires asked him to change his full spikes as they felt his guard well outside the crease could affect the pitch. The 29-year-old didn’t seem too happy with the poser. “When Samad Fallah was bowling, the ball was keeping a bit low. So I stood about four feet outside the crease. The umpires thought I was standing in the danger area, so I had to change to half spikes,” he pointed out. And when asked if they were batting spikes he replied, “yes they were... Did you see them?”

On reaching the 300-wicket milestone, Vinay said he was feeling great. “Getting 300 wickets is a big achievement for me. When I took 100 wickets, it was okay but 300 is a big milestone. I’d like to thank a lot of people who helped me -- my coach, my wife and my parents. First of all I never thought I’ll take so many wickets. For the kind of person I am, I take it one game at a time and not think much ahead. That’s what I have been doing from the first game. God has been very kind to me,” he remarked.

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