Seamers help Karnataka take firm control

Seamers help Karnataka take firm control

Pandey scores ton, Mithun, Vinay shine

Seamers help Karnataka take firm control

Manish Pandey

After their batsmen lorded over Baroda to amass 488, with Manish Pandey’s hundred being the highlight, Karnataka pace bowlers came up with a masterclass to reduce the home side to 137 for nine at close of the second day’s play at the Motibaug grounds on Wednesday. Baroda are 351 runs behind, and still require another 201 runs to avoid follow-on.

The length to be adopted on this pitch dawned on Baroda bowlers only this morning but by then Karnataka had already reached a position of strength. The visitors’ pacemen pitched it full from the outset, allowing the cherry to do its bit and mixed it up well with the occasional short-pitched ball.

The length caused so much uncertainty in the Baroda batsmen’s minds that they seemed unable to decide whether to drive on the up or to play back and wait for the ball. Connor Williams’ dismissal was a case in point. A batsman with nearly 15 years of experience on the domestic circuit, Williams never found the going easy against R Vinay Kumar and A Mithun; the lack of decisive footwork often landing him in awkward positions at the crease.

S Arvind finally ended his agony, castling him. The left-arm paceman caught Williams half-way forward as the ball eased through the big gap between bat and pad. Other Baroda batsmen too offered a similar story, perishing to a combination of Karnataka bowlers’ skill and their own indiscretions.

Their biggest hope of closing in on Karnataka was the presence of Yusuf Pathan, and the powerful right-hander started on an ominous note striking three well-timed fours. But he chanced his arm one occasion too many and a miscued loft off Arvind ended in the hands of Sunil Joshi.

The home side’s situation could have been worse but for a fifty from skipper Irfan Pathan, who is unbeaten on 52.

Earlier, Pandey, overnight 93, wasted little time in completing his second hundred of the season, reaching the three-figure mark with a double off Munaf Patel. However, Ganesh Satish, overnight 94, could not complete his hundred as Irfan trapped him in front of the wicket, dampening the enthusiasm in the Karnataka camp a bit. Nevertheless, it was an innings of rare maturity and poise.

Once they got the early breakthrough, Baroda bowlers gradually began to gain some confidence and put the other batsmen under pressure with a tight line. Karnataka lost two more wickets in the opening session, and it needed a singular effort from someone to take them further away from the opposition. Stuart Binny, who replaced B Akhil in the line-up, conjured a fifty, a fine blend of caution and aggression, to take Karnataka near the 500-mark. With their bowlers hitting the strap straightaway, Karnataka now have a splendid chance to push for an innings win.

Score board

KARNATAKA (I Innings): KB Pawan b Munaf 14 (43m, 31b, 3x4); Robin Uthappa c Shah b Panchal 58 (117m, 74b, 8x4); Ganesh Satish lbw Irfan 94 (343m, 239b, 11x4); Amit Verma c Shah b Irfan 33 (82m, 55b, 7x4); Manish Pandey lbw Munaf 110 (218m, 172b, 12x4, 2x6); Stuart Binny c Shah b Vahora 66 (192m, 134b, 6x4, 1x6); CM Gautam c Shah b Panchal 5 (56m, 36b, 1x4); Sunil Joshi lbw Yusuf 27 (64m, 33b, 5x4); R Vinay Kumar (not out) 28 (53m, 52b, 5x4); A Mithun c Yusuf b Vahora 0 (8m, 6b); S Arvind c Shah b Vahora 0 (4m, 1b); Extras (B-20, LB-18, W-9, NB-6) 53; Total (all out, 137.5 overs) 488.

Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Pawan), 2-102 (Uthappa), 3-160 (Amit), 4-343 (Ganesh), 5-374 (Pandey), 6-392 (Gautam), 7-438 (Joshi), 8-486 (Binny), 9-488 (Mithun).
Bowling: Irfan Pathan 24-3-96-2 (w-2), Munaf Patel 28-5-92-2 (nb-5), Murtaja Vahora 35.5-10-81-3 (w-2), Ketan Panchal 25-5-78-2 (w-1, nb-1), Yusuf Pathan 25-3-103-1 (w-4).

BARODA (I Innings): Connor Williams b Arvind 6 (47m, 33b); Satyajit Parab c Gautam b Mithun 0 (7m, 3b); Jacob Martin lbw Vinay 29 (77m, 48b, 5x4); Ketan Panchal c Amit b Mithun 3 (6m, 7b); Yusuf Pathan c Joshi b Arvind 14 (24m, 14b, 3x4); Azhar Bilakhia lbw Vinay 7 (46m, 23b, 1x4); Pinal Shah c Pandey b Vinay 0 (16m, 14b); Irfan Pathan (batting) 52 (63m, 50b, 7x4, 2x6); Murtaja Vahora b Mithun 12 (25m, 21b, 2x4); Munaf Patel c Uthappa b Joshi 5 (12m, 7b, 1x4); Extras (B-2, LB-7) 9; Total (for 9 wkts, 36.4 overs) 137.

Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Parab), 2-20 (Williams), 3-27 (Panchal), 4-55 (Yusuf), 5-55 (Martin), 6-59 (Pinal), 7-86 (Bilakhia), 8-106 (Vahora), 9-137 (Munaf).
Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 12-4-23-3, A Mithun 10-1-52-3,  S Arvind 10-2-27-2, Sunil Joshi 4.4-0-26-1.