Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is the quintessential cricketer, eager to stay involved, to be in the thick of action. Quiet by nature but demonstrative as sportsman; he loves to make a statement by performing, by delivering. His attitude is the right amalgam of desire and self-constraint. He is an ideal cricketer to light up the dressing room.
For the second day running, Bhuvaneshwar left his mark on the proceedings. A five-wicket haul marked his cricket when Karnataka batted.
A well-constructed innings, nine runs short of a century, enhanced his growing stature as an all-rounder who is ready to step into the zone reserved for tenacious players.
The game drifted from Karnataka’s grasp with Parvinder (143 batting, 255b, 19x4) and Bhuvaneshwar not remotely raising the bowlers’ hopes.
The ball was dealt with on merit and all bowlers tackled with skill. Karnataka played the second fiddle on the penultimate day with Uttar Pradesh firmly in position to dictate as it finished with an overall lead of 445 runs.
If Uttar Pradesh found itself in a dominating position at the end of the third day of the Ranji Trophy match here on Monday the credit lay with Bhuvaneshwar and his 230-run fifth-wicket stand with Parvinder Singh, both products of the academy at the Bhamashah Stadium, the venue of this contest.
Bhuvaneshwar and Parvinder came together when Uttar Pradesh lost Mohammad Kaif early to a seaming delivery from Stuart Binny.
They realised the importance of hanging in and they made every effort to swing the game Uttar Pradesh’s way with an immensely admirable approach.
It was clear that Karnataka would have to earn the wickets of Bhuvaneshwar and Parvinder. Their sound grooming reflected in their solid defence and the ability to spot the weak ball quickly.
Drive remained their productive shot with a few of them standing out for some sensational timing.
In compiling his eight first-class century in a 13-year career, Parvinder served the interests of his team handsomely. At 30, he knows the value of experience and there was enough evidence of his application to the task. He displayed the discipline that stokes the ambitions of a gifted player.
Bhuvaneshwar (253 balls, 13x4) did not waste an opportunity to assume control of the proceedings and came up with some delectable shots.
A cover drive off Amit Verma, that sent a fielder diving to his right and another to the left with the ball staying on course, was an exquisitely-crafted shot by Bhuvaneshwar.
He, however, paid for his over-defensive batting when he took 59 balls for his 12 runs in the last session and was eventually stumped.
Uttar Pradesh — 1st innings: 283.
Karnataka — 1st innings: 181.
Uttar Pradesh — 2nd innings: Mukul Dagar (run out) 18, Amir Khan c Pawan b More 5, Mohammad Kaif b Binny 36, Suresh Raina c and b Gowtham 8, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar st Robin Uthappa b Gowtham 91, Parvinder Singh (battng) 143, Piyush Chawla (batting) 16, Extras (b-14, lb-7, nb-4, w-1): 26; Total (for five wkts. in 112 overs): 343.
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-38, 3-53, 4-88, 5-318.
Karnataka bowling: H.S. Sharath 22-5-57-0, Ronit More 19-4-56-1, Stuart Binny 18-4-47-1, K.P. Appanna 31-8-69-0, K. Gowtham 12-2-49-2, Amit Verma 9-0-39-0, Manish Pandey 1-0-5-0.