Vinay Kumar was in stunning form for Karnataka, scalping six wickets © PTI (File Photo)
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
The first day of the Irani Cup game between Rest of India (ROI) and Karnataka clearly belonged to the bowlers. The green surface had a lot of help early and the batsmen had to apply themselves to eke out a few runs.
Here are a few talking points of Day One of the Irani Cup contest at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore:
R Vinay Kumar rattles top order
With the green surface in play, R Vinay Kumar was too hot to handle early in the day. Off the very first ball of the day, he trapped Jiwanjot Singh leg-before. A couple of overs later, Baba Aparajith was also hit on the pads and was on his way back. Kedar Jadhav, the season’s highest run-scorer was beaten comprehensively as the ball hit his back-leg and he was plumb in front. Vinay Kumar was breathing fire early in the day and he bowled unchanged for over an hour.
Dinesh Karthik given a life
Dinesh Karthik walked in to bail his team out of trouble when Vinay Kumar had reduced them to 12 for three. When Karthik was on two, Vinay Kumar got one to pitch in and line and it shaped away. Karthik was drawn in to flay at it and there was a thin edge. Karnataka were almost celebrating and Vinay Kumar was on his knees while appealing. However, the umpire was unmoved and Karthik was given an early life. Little did anyone know that he was going to make good use of it.
Stuart Binny traps Gautam Gambhir leg-before
Gautam Gambhir had done well to fight out the first hour and a half and was looking well set when he timed a cover-drive for four. He was leaving deliveries outside the off-stump and was gradually getting into his zone. Stuart Binny was introduced and his medium-pace was more reliant on the movement on offer. After struggling to find his line to the left-hander initially, he got it on the money and troubled Gambhir. Then came the coup de grace, as he pitched it in line and moved it a touch. Gambhir was too far across and was trapped in front of the stumps.
Amit Mishra counterattacks
Amit Mishra was chosen ahead of Parvez Rasool to bat at No 7 and did his reputation no harm with a quickfire 47. He was combative in his stay at the crease and took to the attack whenever possible. That allowed Karthik to settle in and put a bit of pressure on Karnataka as ROI were clawing back into the game. The highlights of his knock were a pull shot off Abhimanyu Mithun that went for four and a six off Shreyas Gopal over long off.
Robin Uthappa flies to dismiss Dinesh Karthik
Karthik was ready to take the attack when Harbhajan Singh was dismissed; after all he was the lone recognized batsman for ROI. Just then, he swiped across the line and smashed it towards mid-on. Uthappa was a bit square and he flung himself to his left and plucked a catch mid-air to send Karthik back to the hut. Karthik, who has a penchant for taking a few stunners himself, was now a victim of his own medicine. Not much he could have done after such a splendid knock.
KL Rahul starts off with drives
Karnataka’s innings began in tough circumstances when Robin Uthappa chased one from Ashok Dinda and was caught at first slip. But then, Rahul essayed some cracking shots to get into his stride. Coming off a largely successful season, a hundred in the Ranji final last week, Rahul showed that he was still in touch and caressed a few boundaries.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)