Shreyas Gopal remains unbeaten on _*    PTI
Shreyas Gopal remains unbeaten on 80* PTI

Mumbai lacked steam and purpose with bat and ball respectively in the opening day of their quarter-final clash versus Karnataka. They commenced Day Two with a bang, reducing Karnataka 183 for 4. Nonetheless, their revamped attitude was outplayed by Karnataka’s stubborn approach, and all-round blitz down the order. Riding on the back of fifties from C Gautam and Shreyas Gopal, Karnataka lead Mumbai by 222 runs at stumps.

Is the writing on the wall?

Vinay Kumar stated that Karnataka will be content with a lead of over 200 owing to Mumbai’s stature of bouncing back from any point. Clearly, their plan was to play the waiting game, consume time in the middle and keep Mumbai’s pace spearhead, Dhawal Kulkarni, at bay. While newbie Shivam Dubey rocked Karnataka with a 5-for, the latter remained in contention courtesy vital stands. Mayank Agarwal missed out on a century, a rarity in recent times, falling to a top edge, but Kaunain Abbas held one end.

Gautam and Gopal came in the middle with the score reading 218 for 5; leading Mumbai just by 45 runs. There knew they had to consolidate, and took full responsibility. Both the batsmen put a price on their bat, played straight and combated Mumbai’s attack. While Gautam fell on 79, Gopal remains unbeaten on 80*. The right-hander has added 74* runs with skipper Vinay, and surged the lead over 200.

Warning for Mumbai

Missing their key players, Mumbai’s batting was exposed when they folded for 173. However, they need to address their younger lot of bowlers at the earliest. Apart from debutant Dubey, Mumbai’s attack appears to be heavily-dependent on Kulkarni.

Karnataka have taken full advantage of Mumbai’s miseries, and showed temperament to build from a strong position. They are wary of Mumbai’s abilities, and should be credited for keeping their nose ahead at all times.

Day Three could well turn out to be curtains for Ranji Trophy’s most-successful team, Mumbai, in the current edition.

Brief scores

Mumbai 173 all-out (Akhil Herwadkar 32, Dhawal Kulkarni 75; Vinay Kumar 6 for 34, Sreenath Aravind 2 for 45) trail Karnataka 395 for 6 (Mayank Agarwal 78, Kaunain Abbas 50, CM Gautam 79, Shreyas Gopal 80*; Shivam Dubey 5 for 79) by 222 runs.