For the second time in three days, Uttar Pradesh capitulated to debutant fast bowler A. Mithun and left Karnataka victorious by 185 runs on the final afternoon of their Ranji Trophy Elite group league match here on Friday.
Set a target of 438, UP resumed the day at 30 for one and needed to bat out three sessions to force a draw but Mithun’s five-wicket haul, including a post-lunch hat-trick ended the proceedings 34 minutes before tea.
UP was bowled out for 252 after looking fairly comfortable at lunch with the score reading 158 for four.
Armed with five points from this comprehensive victory, Karnakata next plays host Delhi from November 10 to 13.
Coming from a state that has given new-ball bowlers including J. Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Dodda Ganesh to the country, Mithun truly lived up the faith skipper Rahul Dravid had in him on the eve ofthe match. He finished with five for 95 that gave him match-figures of 11 for 181.
The decisive twist to the tale came during Mithun’s 16th over and 60th of the innings with UP at 205 for five. Mithun had a flamboyant Piyush Chawla caught in the slip cordon, yorked first-innings half-centurion Mohammad Amir Khan and sent the off-stump flying for the second time off successive deliveries by beating next man R. P. Singh.
“The wicket of R. P. Singh was most satisfying as it also gave me 10 wickets in the match,” said an articulate but extremely soft-spoken Mithun after the match.
On this day, Mithun also emulated Srinath’s feat and became only the second Karnataka bowler to take a hat-trick on Ranji Trophy debut.
Interestingly, when Srinath took five for 83 against Hyderabad at Secundrabad on November 18, 1989, Mithun was only 26 days old! In fact, this was Mithun’s third hat-trick and second on debut over the last three seasons. In the 2007-08 season, he took three-in-a-row against Bengal at Gwalior in only his third Under-19 match. Thereafter, he performed a hat-trick on his under-25 debut against Hyderabad in Goa.
After accomplishing the job on hand, Mithun described off-spinner Udit Patel’s dismissal of Mohammad Kaif as “the most crucial.” Once the UP skipper fell for 54, Mithun took four wickets to go with the scalp of opener Tanmay Srivastava before Joshi put the finishing touches.
Early in the day, Joshi was lucky to win a leg-before appeal against a well-set Shiva Kant Singh when it was quite apparent that the opener had edged the ball. Apart from Kaif, the only other player to worry Karnataka on this day was Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who plays for Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League.
After an impressive innings of 63, inclusive of two sixes and seven boundaries, Bhuvaneshwar became UP’s ninth wicket of the innings and Mithun’s 11 of the match.
Karnataka 1st innings: 405.
Uttar Pradesh 1st innings: 279.
Karnataka 2nd innings: 311.
Uttar Pradesh 2nd innings: Tanmay Srivastava b Mithun 13, Shiva Kant Shukla lbw b Joshi 35, Ravi Kant Shukla lbw b Vinay Kumar 10, Mohammad Kaif c Vinay b Patel 54, Parvinder Singh c and b Verma 14, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar c Dravid b Mithun 63, Piyush Chawla c Akhil b Mithun 17, Mohammad Amir Khan b Mithun 0, R. P. Singh b Mithun 0, Praveen Gupta (not out) 11, Shalabh Srivastava lbw b Joshi 9, Extras (b-18, nb-5, wb-3) 26, Total 252.
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-46, 3-85, 4-124, 5-168, 6-205, 7-205, 8-205, 9-241.
Karnataka bowling: Vinay Kumar 17-3-51-1, A. Mithun 19-1-95-5, Sunil Joshi 8.2-1-16-2, B. Akhil 6-3-9-0, Amit Verma 5-1-11-1, Udit Patel 11-0-52-1.