Karnataka nail clueless Andhra

Karnataka nail clueless Andhra

The message Karnataka conveyed to other teams vying for KS Subbaiah Pillai trophy was emphatic as they trounced Andhra by six wickets at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Thursday. It will require a special effort to stop the Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup winners from adding another piece of silverware to their shelf.

From the moment Abhimanyu Mithun dismissed B Prashanth in the 10th ball of the morning, Karnataka never allowed Andhra any foothold for the rest of the match. The visitors were bowled out for an inadequate 97 after they were asked to bat first, and Karnataka overhauled the target in 23.4 overs losing four wickets with Robin Uthappa making a fifty (54, 69b, 7x4, 1x6).

That pace bowlers took nine wickets on a pitch that sported a green tinge could give the picture of hostile, limb-threatening spells. But Karnataka’s effort with the ball on the day was based more on brain than brawn. The frontline pace troika of skipper R Vinay Kumar, Mithun and Ronit More exploited the conditions to the hilt, finding just enough movement off the track to trouble the Andhra batsmen, who just didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to survive such quality pace attack.

Vinay was his usual self, teasing batsmen with his movement and altering the length ever so cleverly. More could surprise you with his pace as MUB Sriram found out the hard way, losing his woodwork to a delivery that jagged back a bit. Mithun, on the other hand, was a tad expensive as at times he drifted on to the pads of batsmen.

Opener Srikar Bharat, top-scorer for Andhra with 25 runs, deposited one such delivery over the square leg fence for a six before falling to the guiles of Vinay.

But there were also occasions when Mithun procured good amount of bounce and movement, keeping the batsmen on their toes.

The success of Karnataka’s pace machine was expected but Manish Pandey offered the surprise element of the day, plucking three wickets in a five-over spell. The dibbly-dobblies of Pandey, though often on target, accounted for D Sivakumar, D Swaroop Kumar and T Achutha Rao, ensuring that there would not be any fightback from the middle and late order.

The excellent effort by Karnataka bowlers meant that Andhra were bundled out nearly an hour before lunch, and Karnataka reached 59 for no loss in 11 overs when lunch was called for. Uthappa was in the forefront of their charge, taking on Andhra bowlers with his characteristic gusto. At 81 for no loss in the 18th over, Karnataka had a bright chance to register a 10-wicket win, but they lost three wickets on the same score.

KL Rahul, Uthappa and Pandey went back to the hut in the space of nine balls and later the home side also lost Ganesh Satish on 95. That slight stuttering apart the entire day belonged to Karnataka and, perhaps, that passage of play would help them to come with a better top-order effort when they take on Hyderabad on Friday.

TN, Hyderabad win

The other two matches of the day too were low-scoring affairs in which Tamil Nadu beat Goa by seven wickets and Hyderabad defeated Kerala by nine wickets.

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