Karun Nair remained unbeaten on 148 at stumps    Getty Images
Karun Nair remained unbeaten on 148 at stumps Getty Images

On this day, a year back, Karun Nair registered his first fifty-plus score in Tests. He was 71 not out at stumps against England. What happened the next day was mayhem. He became the second Indian to the 300-mark in Tests. Nair made the special date more dearer by stroking his 13th First-Class hundred in the ongoing second Ranji Trophy 2017-18 semi-final between Karnataka and Vidarbha at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Vidarbha had Karnataka on the mat at the end of Day One. After being bowled out for 185, Vidarbha reduced Karnataka to 21 for 3. Mayank Agarwal dream run with the willow came to a pause after Umesh Yadav trapped him LBW.

Nair and wicketkeeper-batsman CM Gautam added 139 for the fourth wicket. After Gautam fell, Karnataka lost a few more wickets in flurry. Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal and K Gowtham fell for single digits before skipper Vinay Kumar held the fort. Gurbani hit the deck hard and swung the ball to take 3 wickets for 24 in his superb third spell.

Nair saw off Gurbani’s incisive spell. He counterattacked the pacer with a pull over square leg boundary, which was only six of the match. Nair added 69 for the ninth wicket with his captain as Karnataka ended Day Two at 294 for 8, with a lead of 109 runs. Nair has stroked 20 fours and a six en route his unbeaten 148.

Live Cricket Score, Ranji Trophy 2017-18, semi-final, Day 2
Live Cricket Score, Ranji Trophy 2017-18, semi-final, Day 2

Nair has a sense of occasion. Two years back, in the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai, he had slammed a triple ton to guide Karnataka to a famous win. Nair and Vinay will need to add more to bat Vidarbha out of the game while the opponents who have shown an appetite for fight will look to wrap up Karnataka’s innings soon on Day Three. They had turned the tables similarly against Kerala in the quarter-final.

Pacer Ranjeesh Gurbani out shadowed Umesh by claiming a five-for. Gurbani now has 3 consecutive five-wicket hauls in as many matches.

On Day One, it was Abhimanyu Mithun flattening the Vidarbha batters. His 5 for 45 reduced Vidarbha to 185.

Brief scores:

Vidarbha 185 all out (Wasim Jaffer 39, Aditya Sarwate 47; Abhimanyu Mithun 5 for 45) trail Karnataka 294 for 8 (Karun Nair 148*, CM Gautam 73; Rajneesh Gurbani 5 for 90) by 109 runs.