Dega Nischal was unbeaten on 66, while BR Sharath was four runs short of his maiden first-class half century as the duo steer Karnataka to 208/5 in an Elite A Round 2 match of the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season against defending champions Vidarbha at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur on Tuesday.

Vidarbha had added 62 runs to their overnight score and were bowled out for 307. Shirkant Wagh registered his fifty and departed after he edged it behind off Vinay Kumar, playing in his 100th Ranji Trophy match. Wagh s 83-ball 57 was helped with nine hits to the fence. Left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith claimed his fourth wicket in Lalit Yadav (14) to wrap up Vidarbha s first dig.

In reply, Karnataka were off to a shaky start. They lost opener Ravikumar Samarth for one in the second over. Krishnamurthy Siddharth added 19 before he was trapped lbw off Akshay Wakhare. Even the experienced Karun Nair was unable to hold the innings and departed for a paltry 15 in the 16th over off Aditya Sarwate. Karnataka were reeling at 87/4 when allrounder Wakhare snapped Stuart Binny for 20, his second wicket.

Shreyas Gopal and Nischal steadied the innings with a 62-run partnership. Gopal smashed four boundaries in his 61-ball 30 and walked back after he was caught by Sanjay Ramaswamy off Darshan Nalkande.

Sharath and Nischal then were rock solid in their 59-run stand. Nischal s 209-ball 66 was accompanied with four boundaries, while Sharath struck nine fours in his 76-ball 46.

Brief scores: Karnataka 208/5 (Dega Nischal 66*) trail Vidarbha 307 by 99 runs