Mumbai make solid start

Mumbai make solid start

Mumbai's Dhawal Kulkarni appeals for the wicket of Karnataka's Shreyas Gopal on the second day of their Ranji Trophy match on Wednesday. DH photo/ Tajuddin Azad

Overnight centurion K V Siddharth and paceman Shivam Dubey continued to headline the Karnataka-Mumbai match, adding more weight to their Day One efforts.

While Siddharth, overnight 104, extended his stay at the wicket beyond lunch, Dubey returned his best first-class figures (7/53) in an innings to keep their respective teams in the hunt in their Group A Ranji Trophy encounter here at the KSCA Stadium on Wednesday.

If Siddharth’s batting was characterised by a generous dose of flair on Tuesday’s opening day, it was marked by a dogged determination on the second day as Karnataka, resuming at 263/4, ended their first innings at 400 all out from 129.4 overs.

Siddharth’s 161 (457m, 299b, 19x4, 2x6) was the cornerstone of hosts’ sizeable total which looked a distant possibility in the morning session when Dhawal Kulkarni struck twice in quick succession.

On a pitch where batting has become progressively easy, Mumbai responded to Karnataka in kind with attacking opener Jay Bista (69 n.o., 176m, 111b, 11x4) leading their charge. The tourists finished the second day at 99/2, losing their second wicket with only two balls left on another extended day. Mumbai now trail Karnataka by 301 runs.

In addition to a painfully-slow Akhil Herwadkar, who was snared by A Mithun with a short ball, Karnataka could have had Bista as well on his personal score of 34 had a diving B R Sharath held on to an edge from the right-hander. The unfortunate bowler was Mithun who also saw Ashay Sardesai’s edge brush past Mir Kaunain Abbas’ fingers at second slip. The batsman was yet to open his account then. Sharath, however, made up for Bista’s spill by pouching a low catch to dismiss Sardesai (25) off local boy Ronit More.              

It was the twin blows in the first session on Tuesday that pegged back Karnataka’s march. With two set batsmen at the crease, the home team would have hoped for a bigger total but Kulkarni, extracting some good bounce and movement off the pitch, accounted for Shreyas Gopal (48) and B R Sharath (0) in successive overs.

Just when it appeared that Karnataka would implode, J Suchith (30) put on a 143-minute tenacious batting show to add 84 runs for the seventh wicket with Siddharth. That took Karnataka past 350 and would have settled some nerves in their dressing room.

Suchith’s dismissal by Badrey Alam brought in Mithun whose cameo kept the crowd excited through the rest of the innings. The right-hander struck six fours and a six in his 29-ball 34 but he ran out of partners as Dubey came to wipe out Karnataka’s innings in what turned out to be his final spell. Looking a little flat in the early part of the day, the strapping paceman returned all guns blazing to scalp three wickets in the space of 16 balls.      

The 25-year-old ended Siddharth’s resistance with an incoming delivery that caught the batsman plumb in front. He then induced an edge off the next ball to send back More. Prasidh Krishna did deny him the hat-trick but not his wicket as the paceman got his second five-wicket haul against Karnataka in as many matches. Coming as it did on a 'flat' wicket, Dubey’s effort was all the more special.