By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Bangalore: Feb 10, 2014
Karnataka showed why they are champions as they dominated Rest of India (ROI) on Day Two of the Irani Cup game at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. On Day One, skipper R Vinay Kumar had set the tone with his six-for as ROI were bowled out for 201. On Day Two, it was the batsmen who did the job for the Ranji champions as they finished the day with a lead of 189. Stuart Binny was the star with a blazing ton, while Ganesh Satish (84) and Karun Nair (92) played supporting roles. They are on 389 for five.
Starting the day on 35 for one, Karnataka were never really troubled. There was the odd delivery that kept low from the North End, but save that, the pitch didn’t have any demons when compared to the first day. In fact, batting looked easy as Karnataka were in total control. The low bounce did consume KL Rahul though, as he lost his stumps early in the day to Anureet Singh.
But there was Satish who made batting look easy. With a graceful shuffle, he used deft touch to pick up quick runs in the morning. He was dour on Day One, but unleashed his grace as he opened the face of the bat and guided the ball through point and gully. In fact, there were occasions when he played it through the slips, but there was such control that he didn’t have any scare.
At the other end, Manish Pandey was all about power, playing with authority and using his feet on a few occasions. In tandem, they took Karnataka closer until Pandey was caught behind by Dinesh Karthik off Pankaj Singh. That got Nair to the crease and run-scoring became slow thereafter. Satish also slowed down and was blocking quite a bit even as his ton was in sight. With the score on 188, he edged Harbhajan Singh to the wicketkeer Kedar Jadhav (Karthik was off the field nursing a minor injury).
In walked Binny and gave a great exhibition of some attacking batting. While Nair held firm at one end, Binny was ready to use his feet to the spinners; lofting Harbhajan over long-off for a six and then going inside out over cover for another maximum off Amit Mishra.
Watching from the other end, even Nair got a hang of things, but played within his limitations. When the ball was pitched up, he drove with great control and increased his scoring rate. He reached his half century before tea.
Once play resumed after tea, it was the Binny show as he attacked anything within his zone. If it was outside off, he chased it with power. He also pulled when it was on his body, sending one over fine-leg for a massive six. He even played the ramp shot, guiding a short one over the slips.
As a result, he reached his ton off only 82 balls and was greeted with some vociferous cheers. Meanwhile, Nair went almost unnoticed and was quietly going about his job. Immediately after moving into the 90s, he was bowled by Pankaj as he tried to leave a ball, but only managed to drag it back onto the stumps. The partnership was worth 187 runs and had consumed only 175 balls, a remarkable run-rate for a First-Class game.
CM Gautam then joined Binny and they saw Karnataka through to stumps.
Rest of India 201 201 (Dinesh Karthik 91, Amit Mishra 47; R Vinay Kumar 6 for 47, Stuart Binny 3 for 35) trail Karnataka 390 for five (Ganesh Satish 84, Karun Nair 92; Stuart Binny 115*; Pankaj Singh 2 for 78) by 189 runs.
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