Vinay powers Karnataka to win

Kolkata:Skipper sparkles with nine-wicket haul

Vinay powers Karnataka to win

Pace spearhead and skipper R Vinay Kumar exposed Bengal’s batting frailty with a match haul of nine wickets and led Karnataka to a crushing nine-wicket win in their Ranji Trophy Group A cricket match at the Eden Gardens, here on Wednesday.

Vinay Kumar returned with figures of 6-34, his 15th five-for in first-class cricket, as Bengal after being followed on lost six wickets for just 29 runs in a pathetic batting display to be bundled out for 227 in their second essay, setting a paltry target of 71.
Bengal were let down by Manoj Tiwary who followed his first innings duck with a four from 21 deliveries and it was the duo of skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla (57 from 65 balls) and Sudeep Chatterjee (59), who avoided the ignominy of an innings defeat.

Flamboyant opener Robin Uthappa’s 36-ball 54 (10x4, 1x6) helped the defending champions hunt down the target in 10.2 overs in an extended second session. This was Karnataka’s second outright win on the trot to lead the group table with 12 points after two rounds.

Karnataka bagged six points from this matchBengal had a bit of solace by denying Karnataka a bonus point as Uthappa was dismissed by Shib Shankar Paul immediately after the veteran Bengal seamer dropped the opener at fine leg in the previous over.
Karnataka leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal was adjudged man-of-the-match for his match-turning 145 in a 148-run 10th wicket partnership with Sreenath Arvind that had seized the momentum for the visitors, who were reeling 69 for five on the opening day.

“We all are enjoying each other’s company, it’s a healthy dressing room atmosphere,” Uthappa said. Earlier in the morning, Bengal resuming with a 111-run deficit, soon lost overnight opener Arindam Das. Tiwary struggled to middle the ball against Vinay. Tiwary’s poor footwork did him in as he missed the line to a Vinay delivery that stayed a tad low to be castled for four.

Bengal once again lost wickets in heap in the post-lunch session even as skipper Shukla counter-attacked with a 65-ball 57 with 10 fours and one six.

But his inning was cut short by left-arm pacer Arvind (2/54) while his experienced skipper showed no mercy from the High Court end and had two wickets in two balls to skittle out Bengal in 76.3 overs.

Bengal had a similar collapse in their first innings and lost seven wickets for 79 runs in the post lunch session on Tuesday.

Skipper Shukla said there was no positive to take from the match.  Karnataka will take on Railways from December 21 at Delhi, while Bengal face Mumbai at home in their next match from December 28.

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