By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Bangalore: Feb 11, 2014
Karnataka are on the brink of another triumph as they have Rest of India (ROI) in trouble in the Irani Trophy encounter at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. The Ranji champions continued their domination over ROI and after taking a 405-run lead, they took three wickets to have ROI at 114 for three at the end of Day Three.
Starting the day at 390 for five, Karnataka lost Stuart Binny early as he was bowled by Pankaj Singh. But, CM Gautam was on song and continued to attack the bowling. The morning session was ompletely dominated by him as he played the reverse-sweeps on many occasions. Despite the fielders being placed in the deep, he bisected the gaps very well. When the fast bowlers pitched it short, he pulled with ease.
At the other end, he found some support in Vinay Kumar and Shreyas Gopal. In the over before lunch, he completed his ton off only 134 balls. The great thing was that he scored 97 runs in the morning session. The game kept slipping away from ROI’s grasp and they weren’t helped when the Karnataka tail wagged a bit.
Abhimanyu Mithun, showing brute strength, was in the mood to attack and stole Gautam’s thunder post lunch. Ashoke Dinda bore the brunt of it as he was carted over square-leg for a maximum and then punched a few times through the leg-side for fours.
At the other end, Pankaj Singh found his line and length. He helped reduce ROI’s agony as he completed his six wicket haul and in a way limited Karnataka from piling on a bigger lead.
Things started off well for ROI when Gautam Gambhir essayed two cover drives to the boundary. But, he was then brilliantly caught in the slips as he backed away to cut. Jiwanjot Singh was trapped leg-before by Vinay Kumar again as the ball hit him on the backleg.
Staring at the huge deficit, Kedar Jadhav decided to chance his arm. He attacked the seamers, driving and flicking them with authority. He was also spurned by a few words from the Karnataka fielders but maintained his composure. Scoring 44 in good time, he charged to Shreyas Gopal and was caught at mid-off.
It was a day where Karnataka simply built on their advantage and surged way ahead. A matter of time before they have their hands around the Irani Cup.
Rest of India 201 (Dinesh Karthik 91, Amit Mishra 47; R Vinay Kumar 6 for 47, Stuart Binny 3 for 35) and 114 for 3 (Baba Aparjith 42*; R.Vinay Kumar 2 for 27, S Gopal 1 for 31) trail Karnataka 606 (Ganesh Satish 84, Stuart Binny 122, CM Gautam 122; Pankaj Singh 6 for 122) by 291 runs.
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