Principal Correspondent

Sehwag strikes twice

Bangalore: Barrington Rowland dropped anchor and his 285-minute vigil at the crease helped Karnataka score 231 for six against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday.

Barrington scored 81 (224b, 8x4) before losing a chance to notch up his first century this season, falling to left-arm seamer Kunal Lal, operating with the new ball in the post-tea session.

Barrington walked back to a warm round of applause and though he rued missing a century, he had by then ensured that Karnataka lasted the day after Sujith Somasundar won the toss, opted to bat and soon stared at a familiar batting collapse that has trailed the home team like an unwelcome guest.

Regular strikes

Openers Robin Uthappa and Bharath Chipli lasted an hour and the nerves had eased in the dressing room. However, Chipli's attempt to cut Rajat Bhatia, with wicketkeeper Varun Kumar standing up to the stumps, proved fatal. Uthappa, who had dished out sparkling drives and pulls, checked a shot off leg-spinner Abhishek Sharma and watched Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag accept the catch at mid-off.

Barrington stood grounded at the non-striker's end while the trio of S. Shinde, Somasundar and Thilak Naidu fell cheaply. Shinde attempted to pull Sehwag's first delivery and edged straight to Varun. The script remained the same post-lunch as Somasundar offered no shot to Sehwag and was ruled leg before. Thilak Naidu then went on the offensive, driving, pulling and lofting Sehwag. However, the party did not last long as Thilak top-edged a sweep off leg-spinner Chetanya Nanda. Meanwhile, Barrington after reaching his 50, pulled Sehwag and Abhishek with alacrity and also found an ally in allrounder B. Akhil (48 n.o.).

The duo's 97-run sixth-wicket partnership was the lone saving grace for Karnataka. Akhil used his feet to good effect and also employed a cheeky reverse sweep to unsettle Sehwag. However with Barrington succumbing in the 87th over, Delhi did close the day with optimism.

Though on a slow pitch with a hint of uneven bounce where Anil Kumble and Sunil Joshi will turn their arm over in the next few days, Delhi might well nip the host tail early on Wednesday morning to avoid trailing a 300 plus total.

The scores: Karnataka - 1st innings: R. Uthappa c Sehwag b Abishek 31, B. Chipli c Varun b Bhatia 16, B. Rowland c Varun b Kunal 81, S. Shinde c Varun b Sehwag 12, S. Somasundar lbw b Sehwag 6, T. Naidu c Sehwag b Nanda 19, B. Akhil (batting) 48, S. Joshi (batting) 0; Extras: (b-12, lb-1, nb-5): 18. Total (for six in 90 overs): 231.

Fall of wickets: 1-37, 2-56, 3-72, 4-102, 5-134, 6-231.

Delhi bowling: Bhandari 16-6-29-0, Kunal 16-7-34-1 (nb-5), Bhatia 6-1-10-1, Nanda 21-3-41-1, A. Sharma 21-2-65-1, Sehwag 10-1-39-2.

Other scores: Elite group: At Ahmedabad: Gujarat 190 for nine in 90 overs (Parthiv Patel 47, Hemal Watekar 46 batting, Ramesh Powar four for 64) vs Mumbai.

At New Delhi: Maharashtra 55 for one in 32 overs vs Railways.

At Kolkata: Tamil Nadu 218 in 65.3 overs (Hemang Badani 67) vs Bengal 32 for three in 14 overs.

At Visakhapatnam: Punkab 190 for four in 90 overs (Pankaj Dharmani 46, Dinesh Mongia 52 batting) vs Andhra.

At New Delhi: Baroda 82 for one in 26.2 overs (Pinal Shah 42 batting) vs Services.

At Kanpur: Hyderabad 142 in 55.4 overs (P. Shashank Nag 42) vs Uttar Pradesh 101 for one in 34 overs (Shivakant Shukla 58 batting).

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