Karnataka dominate day one

Uthappa, Ganesh, Pandey register half-centuries


That overwhelming supremacy was the result of three individual efforts, all of them victories over personal dilemmas.

Karnataka’s impressive first day’s score of 335 for three in the Ranji Trophy Super League game was built around half-centuries from Manish Pandey, Ganesh Satish and Robin Uthappa at the Motibaug grounds on Tuesday.

Pandey (93 batting) and Ganesh (94 batting) added 175 runs in an entertaining unbeaten alliance for the fourth wicket that crushed Baroda’s hopes like a steamroller while setting the stage for Karnataka to rack up a huge total on the morrow.

After that awesome 194 against Uttar Pradesh in the first game, Pandey’s bat has produced only one fifty despite getting off the blocks quite confidently. But the youngster made amends for those lapses in brilliant fashion, conjuring a knock that proclaimed his abundant talent.

Pandey arrived at the crease after the dismissal of Amit Verma — who snicked Irfan Pathan to Pinal Shah behind the stumps — and immediately took charge of the situation.

The 20-year old played some exquisite shots all around the park, but the pulls and hooks gave a touch of audacity to his knock. Pandey was never hesitant to employ those shots when pacers Irfan and Munaf tried to rattle him with the short-pitched stuff. But there were also some shots illustrating his lovely timing, a flick off Munaf standing out.

At the other end Ganesh too played a battling innings, but much more fluent than his effort against Maharashtra in Pune last week. Maharashtra bowlers had harried him with an off-stump line then, but on the day the State lad was so sure of his off-stump, barring a couple of occasions against Irfan, and his temperament too was commendable.

Watching a stroke-maker like Pandey in full throttle at the other end could trigger a lot of temptations in your mind, a desire to match the partner. But Ganesh resisted such thoughts and concentrated on his game, waiting for the loose balls while keeping his end going. The only point when he looked in real danger was during the last ball of the day when Irfan and his mates confidently went up for a caught behind appeal, but umpire turned it down much to the relief of the batsmen and the Karnataka dressing room. 

The vistors had a bright start to their innings thanks to Robin Uthappa after Baroda asked them to bat first. Irfan, the homeside skipper, was justified in putting Karnataka in, prompted by a cool atmosphere and a greenish pitch. But Uthappa and Pawan nullified their hopes of a early breakthrough during their 44-run partnership as they resisted the swing of Irfan and Munaf effectively.

Like Pandey and Ganesh, Uthappa too had an area to sort out. The Kodava lad’s bat had not produced any runs this season, and he put all those uneasy memories behind to notch up a fifty that would go a long way in boosting his confidence for the rest of the season.

After the departure of Pawan, Uthappa and Ganesh stitched together a half-century stand that set the base for Karnataka’s charge. The hosts’ skipper returned to the hut, edging paceman Ketan Panchal to stumper Shah, after a well-crafted 58. But the relief in seeing the dangerous Uthappa off faded away quickly from the Baroda camp as Ganesh and Pandey took charge.

Scoreboard

KARNATAKA (I Innings): KB Pawan b Munaf 14 (43m, 31b, 3x4); Robin Uthappa c Shah b Panchal 58 (117m, 74b, 8x4); Ganesh Satish (batting) 94 (334m, 238b, 11x4); Amit Verma c Shah b Irfan 33 (82m, 55b, 7x4); Manish Pandey (batting) 93 (177m, 147b, 10x4, 2x6); Extras (B-16, LB-15, W-7, NB-5) 43; Total (for 3 wkts, 90 overs) 335
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Pawan), 2-102 (Uthappa), 3-160 (Amit).
Bowling: Irfan Pathan 18-3-72-1 (w-1), Munaf Patel 19-3-66-1 (nb-5), Murtaza Vahora 20-5-47-0 (w-1), Ketan Panchal 17-3-46-1 (w-1), Yusuf Pathan 16-2-73-0 (w-4).

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