Karnataka inch ahead

Hosts lead by 174 after skittling Hyderabad for 136

Karnataka inch ahead

On a day that witnessed a see-saw battle, Karnataka slightly put their noses in front of Hyderabad in their Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ game here at the KSCA Navule stadium on Wednesday.

The visitors had drawn the first blood in the contest with a brilliant bowling performance to skittle out Karnataka for 183 on the opening day. To their dismay, their batting turned out to be a complete opposite of their bowling effort. Starting the second day at 51/3, Hyderabad batsmen had a torrid time facing Karnataka spinners and were bowled out for 136.

Shreyas Gopal wreaked havoc in the second session and produced his best bowling figures in first-class cricket – five for 19 - as Karnataka gained a lead of 47 runs. Post lunch, Shreyas ran through the batting line-up with an impressive first spell of 5.4-1-9-5.

It didn’t take a long time for fortune to shift back towards Hyderabad. Mehdi Hasan was the visitors’ answer to Shreyas’ exploits. The left-arm spinner took out the top four Karnataka batsmen in the span of eight overs.

Deep trouble
At 57/4, the hosts were in deep trouble. Established duo of Karun Nair (37, 75b, 5x4) and Stuart Binny (27, 67b, 4x4) forged a fighting fifth-wicket partnership of 71 to take Karnataka to 128/4 at stumps.

Karun tackled the spinners well and found his boundaries through sweep shots while Binny, who was edgy in the beginning, ground it out to stay unbeaten. With a lead of 175, Karnataka could turn the game in their favour if they manage to bat two sessions on Thursday.

Earlier, Karnataka were made to wait for their first wicket of the day. The pacers dried up the runs to mount pressure on overnight batsmen Kolla Sumanth (68) and B Sandeep (19). Their efforts paid off as Karnataka got their first breakthrough through S Arvind. Sandeep edged a rising delivery off the left-arm seamer and wicketkeeper CM Gautam pounced to his left to complete a brilliant catch.

With the cream of the Hyderabad batting removed, Shreyas took control of proceedings. The lower-order failed to pick Shreyas’ length and didn’t possess enough technique to survive his leg-spinners. While he trapped southpaw Mehdi (6) and Ravi Kiran (0) leg before wicket, the 24-year-old got the close-in fielders in play to dismiss Akash Bhandari (24) and Pragyan Ojha (0).

“It feels nice to get five wickets early in the season, but more importantly it helped us take the first innings lead. That is a big plus for us and that is more satisfying for me,” Shreyas told reporters. 

“I think it will get harder (tomorrow) and it isn’t easy for the batsmen to score runs. Karun and Stuart are batting very well and we hope to captilaise on that.”


KARNATAKA (I Innings): 183

HYDERABAD (I Innings; O/n 51/3): Tanmay Agarwal (run out) 1 (12m, 7b), Akshath Reddy c  (sub) b Gowtham 13 (75m, 52b, 1x4), Kolla Sumanth c Vinay b Shreyas 68 (243m, 150b, 9x4, 1x6), Ambati Rayudu b Gowtham 0 (6m, 5b), B Sandeep c Gautam b Arvind 19 (109m, 66b, 2x4), Ashish Reddy c Karun b Gowtham 2 (25m, 19b), Akash Bhandari c Samarth b Shreyas 24 (83m, 63b, 3x4), Mehdi Hassan lbw Shreyas 6 (18m, 11b, 1x4), Pragyan Ojha c Samarth b Shreyas 0 (2m, 3b), Ravi Kiran lbw Shreyas 0 (8m, 8b), Mohammed Siraj (not out) 1 (2m, 4b). Extras (LB-2) 2. Total (all out in 64.4 overs) 136.

Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Tanmay), 2-48 (Akshath), 3-48 (Rayudu), 4-79 (Sandeep), 5-96 (Ashish), 6-111 (Sumanth), 7-121 (Mehdi), 8-121 (Ojha), 9-123 (Kiran).

Bowling: R Vinay Kumar 9-2-11-0, Abhimanyu Mithun 13-7-29-0, K Gowtham 17-2-56-3, S Arvind 12-6-14-1, Shreyas Gopal 9.4-1-17-5, Stuart Binny 4-2-7-0.

KARNATAKA (II Innings): R Samarth b Mehdi 29 (99m, 78b, 3x4), K L Rahul b Mehdi 23 (79m, 49b, 3x4), Mayank Agarwal b Mehdi 0 (28m, 22b), Karun Nair (not out) 37 (95m, 75b, 5x4), K Gowtham lbw Mehdi 0 (2m, 3b), Stuart Binny (not out) 27 (83m, 68b, 4x4). Extras (B-8, LB-4) 12. Total (for 4 wkts, 49 overs) 128.

Fall of wickets: 1-45 (Rahul), 2-52 (Samarth), 3-57 (Mayank), 4-57 (Gowtham).

Bowling: Ravi Kiran 7-1-18-0, Mehdi Hasan 22-5-54-4, Pragyan Ojha 8-1-34-0, Mohammed Siraj 2-1-1-0, Akash Bhandari 1-0-2-0, Ambati Rayudu 1-0-2-0.

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