Karun Nair was the star of Day Three © AFP (Representational Image)
Jan 20, 2014
Karnataka have ended Day Three of their Ranji Trophy 2013-14 semi-final against Punjab 79 runs ahead. Punjab had scored 270 in the first innings and Karnataka started the day on 39 for two.
Early in the day, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey took charge of proceedings. Manpreet Gonyand Sandeep Sharma troubled the Karnataka batsmen with movement earlier, but they kept focusing hard. Leaving deliveries outside the off-stump, they measured their approach and played with grit.
However, when the opportunity came their way, they were ready to attack. Whenever the bowlers pitched full, they were driven well. Harbhajan Singh came on to bowl and had a bat-pad shout to Uthappa, but was given not out. The ball had clearly taken the gloves before hitting the pads. However, he came back later and then trapped him leg-before as Uthappa merely padded the deliver.
There was a run-out shout for Karun Nair, but it was not out. Pandey soldiered on though and completed his half-century by smashing a six off Gony over fine-leg. However, as the close of the session approached, Pandey lost concentration and edged one to the wicketkeeper to give Sandeep Sharma a wicket.
Karnataka started the afternoon session at 158 for four with Nair the main batsman. But, they also had CM Gautam in the middle, who continued to be in great touch and scored a quick 48 before Harbhajan Singh dismissed him. Gautam charged to Harbhajan and the off-spinner fired it down the leg-side. Gautam only ended up giving a catch to mid-wicket.
After Gautam’s fall, Karnataka slowed down considerably, but by the time tea came about, they had taken the lead.
After tea, Nair and Amit Verma continued to extend the challenge and the former completed his ton.
Punjab 270 trail Karnataka 351 for 5 (Robin Uthappa 47, Manish Pandey 65, Karun Nair 107*, Amit Verma 65*; Harbhajan Singh 2 for 79) by 81 runs.