Champs Karnataka take total control

Champs Karnataka take total  control

Defending champions Karnataka tightened their grasp over a hapless Railways after dictating the play with both bat and ball on the third day of their Ranji Trophy Group A match at the Karnail Singh stadium here on Tuesday.

Railways could add only 35 runs to their overnight score of 106/4 before being dismissed for 171 shortly after lunch. Sreenath Arvind (4-43) and Abhimanyu Mithun (3-53) shared seven wickets among them to help Karnataka grab a first innings lead of 76 runs.

Robin Uthappa (70 n.o., 105b, 10x4) and Karun Nair (61 n.o., 98b, 9x4, 1x6) then followed on the good work of the bowlers with fine knocks to take the visitors to 131/1 and an overall lead of 207, when the stumps were drawn early due to bad light.

The poor visibility once again swallowed a large chunk of the morning session. Karnataka seamers, though, made the most of it. 

Mithun removed nightwatchman Avinash Yadav, who edged to Uthappa at gully. Arvind knocked off the bails of Anustup Majumdar, who barely got time to get behind the line of the ball, at the stroke of lunch. It was Arvind’s 100th first-class wickets.

The rest of the Railways batting folded in next 10 overs. Captain Mahesh Rawat -- Railways’ best batsman -- delighted with his timing with three fours he stroked but Arvind rapped him on his pads soon. The tail was polished off without much ado and Karnataka left the field with renewed energy.

Railways created a mild flutter when Anureet Singh snared opener Mayank Aggarwal in the fifth ball of the opening over. Mayank had stepped out for an expansive drive but edged the ball, flying straight into the gloves of Rawat.

That, though, remained the only blemish in an otherwise successful day for Karnataka.
The seamer-friendly pitch, with chilly conditions and wind, certainly do not offer best conditions for batting. The seamers have been successfully zipping the ball off the pitch with the odd–ball rearing up unexpectedly off the rough patches.
But Uthappa and Nair dug their heels and rode out a few overs without further casualty. Uthappa, who enjoys pace and bounce, often translated them into delectable punches and drives, and his square drives this day were a treat to watch. Nair, cautious to start, opened up later and the two made batting looked effortless on a difficult pitch by tonking the Railway bowlers all over the park.
The reliable Railways pace-attack began with vigour but waywardness soon crept in. Uthappa brought his half-century with a single and Nair joined him shortly with a six off left-arm spinner Yadav over mid-off. The two have given Karnataka an excellent platform from where they could press for their third successive outright win on the morrow.
DH News Service

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