Parvinder and Chawla profit from some shoddy fielding to notch up half-centuries

In the event, Uttar Pradesh hobbled to 221 for nine at stumps on day two, in the direction of a considerable first-innings deficit and positively under the cosh.

But this Ranji Trophy quarterfinal may have long ceased to be a contest had Karnataka not spurned a number of chances in the field on Thursday. Three catches, of varying difficulty, were put down and one stumping opportunity missed during a dispiriting afternoon’s play.

Parvinder Singh and Piyush Chawla profited from all that uncharacteristic sloppiness to make half-centuries. The pair added 110 runs when their side — six down for 65 — was headed for complete embarrassment.

This should not, however, take the gloss off a fine bowling performance from Vinay Kumar and (in particular) Abhimanyu Mithun, who claimed three and four wickets respectively. H.S. Sharath hurt his right shoulder minutes after tea and walked off but is expected to be fit to play on Friday.

Gautam completes century

All this came after Karnataka had collapsed from 297 for five overnight to 349 all out inside an hour in the morning, Amit Mishra finishing with six wickets. There was enough time, though, for C.M. Gautam, who had hitherto failed to match his towering numbers from last season, to complete his first hundred of the campaign. “This has come at the right time,” he said later.

The home side’s riposte was immediate and severe. Vinay prised out Mukul Dagar and Sharath Ali Murtaza before Mithun waded in. The 24-year-old can be a frustrating bowler to captain at times but he was fast and straight here.

First Prashant Gupta played inside the line to find his off-stump flung some distance behind him. Mohammed Kaif then shouldered arms to a ball that cut back in and left him suffering a similar fate. On the other side of lunch, Vinay claimed opener Tanmay Srivastava, and Eklavya Dwivedi to leave Uttar Pradesh staggering.

Spilled chances

Then came, though, a passage of play Gautam called “the worst we’ve had as a fielding unit this season”. The ’keeper was chiefly guilty himself, failing to stump Parvinder (on 14) and later dropping him (on 44) off Vinay.

In between, Karun Nair put down a hard chance off Chawla’s bat (on 11) at point while K.L. Rahul reprieved the same player (on 31) at second slip. Mithun eventually broke through, dismissing Chawla and Amit Mishra in quick succession.

Parvinder was out for 92 three balls from the scheduled close, edging — of all people — Robin Uthappa behind. Karnataka will not take pride in its work on the field but the present lead of 128 puts it in a position of some comfort.

The scores:

Karnataka — 1st innings: Robin Uthappa st. Dwivedi b Murtaza 100, K.L. Rahul c Dwivedi b Rajpoot 0, R. Samarth c & b Mishra 0, Manish Pandey c Kaif b Mishra 0, Karun Nair lbw b Murtaza 100, C.M. Gautam b Mishra 100, Abrar Kazi b Mishra 23, Shreyas Gopal c Dwivedi b Rajpoot 0, R. Vinay Kumar (not out) 4, A. Mithun lbw b Mishra 13, H.S. Sharath c Gupta b Mishra 0; Extras (lb-6, nb-2, w-1): 9; Total (in 100.5 overs): 349.

Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-15, 3-15, 4-135, 5-297, 6-330, 7-331, 8-331, 9-349.

Uttar Pradesh bowling: R.P. Singh 10.4-5-19-0, Ankit Rajpoot 23-9-49-2, Amit Mishra 28.5-5-106-6, Ali Murtaza 20-3-92-2, Piyush Chawla 15.2-0-62-0, Prashant Gupta 3-0-15-0.

Uttar Pradesh — 1st innings: Tanmay Srivastava lbw b Vinay 32, Mukul Dagar c Pandey b Vinay 13, Ali Murtaza c Gautam b Sharath 1, Prashant Gupta b Mithun 0, Mohammad Kaif b Mithun 0, Parvinder Singh c Gautam b Uthappa 92, Eklavya Dwivedi c Gautam b Vinay 2, Piyush Chawla c Gautam b Mithun 56, Amit Mishra b Mithun 4, Ankit Rajpoot (batting) 1; Extras (b-11, lb-5, nb-4): 20; Total (for nine wickets in 70.3 overs) 221.

Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-48, 3-49, 4-57, 5-57, 6-65, 7-175, 8-181, 9-221.

Karnataka bowling: R. Vinay Kumar 18-2-49-3, A. Mithun 17.5-3-70-4, H.S. Sharath 10-3-20-1, Shreyas Gopal 11-2-30-0, Abrar Kazi 11-1-30-0, Manish Pandey 2.1-0-6-0, Robin Uthappa 0.3-0-0-1.

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