Medium pacers Anupam Sanklecha, Shrikant Mundhe and Nikit Dhumal ran through the Karnataka batting with the innings ending in 67.4 overs © Getty Images (Representational Image)
Medium pacers Anupam Sanklecha, Shrikant Mundhe and Nikit Dhumal ran through the Karnataka batting with the innings ending in 67.4 overs © Getty Images (Representational Image)

Pune: Maharashtra took a surprising first innings lead after bowling out defending champions Karnataka for 180 on day two of the Ranji Trophy Group A match on Wednesday. Medium pacers Anupam Sanklecha, Shrikant Mundhe and Nikit Dhumal ran through the Karnataka batting with the innings ending in 67.4 overs. Maharashtra, who had made 212 in their first attempt, were 70 for four in their second innings and 102 ahead of the visitors, setting up an exciting end to the game. Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar and fellow medium pacer Sreenath Aravind struck twice to get their team back into the contest. UPDATES: Maharashtra vs Karnataka, Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Group A match, Day 2 at Pune

The race to make it to the playoffs is intensifying and reigning champions Karnataka will be vying for an outright win against Maharashtra to strengthen their cause on the points table. Karnataka is currently ranked fourth on the table and their quest to climb the charts received a major boost after an emphatic performance on Day One. COMPLETE COVERAGE: Ranji Trophy 2015-16

On the first day the defending champions kept Maharashtra down to 212 in the first innings and with the bat went with the score of 50 for one at stumps. They are now trailing by 162 runs with nine wickets in hand and have the opportunity to take an insurmountable first innings lead. They will be looking to achieve just that as it will not only confirm their qualification into the playoffs but will also give them momentum going into the knock outs.

Brief scores:

Maharashtra 212 and 70 for 4 (Rahul Tripathi 31*; Vinay Kumar 2 for 24, Sreenath Aravind 2 for 17) lead Karnataka 180 (Mayank Agarwal 33; Anupam Sanklecha 4 for 58, Shrikant Mundhe 3 for 54, Nikit Dhumal 3 for 46) by 102 runs.