Bangalore: Robin Uthappa played a captain’s knock (131) but the rest failed to cash in as Karnataka finished at 264 for six against Railways on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy super league Group ‘B’ match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here.
The host skipper won the toss, opted to bat and was vindicated through his 157-run opening partnership with K.B. Pawan (54).
However, as the afternoon ebbed away so did Uthappa’s partners as Pawan’s uppish slog-sweep off Murali Kartik (three for 65) offered Railways a glimmer of hope.
Starts frittered away
Debutant Ganesh Satish, Thilak Naidu and Bharath Chipli got their starts but failed to cash in while C. Raghu fell for a blob.
Uthappa too perished while attempting to pull, a shot that caused his downfall in the recent matches against Australia ‘A’ and in the Challenger Trophy.
Earlier, it was all smiles and sunshine for Uthappa (131, 212b, 20x4) as he and Pawan tucked into the Railways’ seam attack which got its length awry.
Pawan cover drove Railways skipper Sanjay Bangar while Uthappa flicked and glided Harvinder Singh to rustle up the early runs. Pawan enjoyed a close shave when he was on 24 as an edge did not carry to first slip. Pawan then opted to play second fiddle as Uthappa upped the tempo with shots that hugged the carpet.
He swept fine and rocked back to late cut Kartik.
The left-arm spinner, however, did cause a few heartburns to Pawan.
Though Pawan did repeatedly drive leg-spinner Karan Sharma through the ‘V’ to get to his fifty (54, 137b, 7x4), he could not resist the slog-sweep against Kartik and succumbed.
Uthappa, meanwhile, got his hundred with a late cut off Karan though a back strain seemed to visibly tire him.
He eventually fell to the lone uppish shot he played as Anurit Singh exulted at square leg and the rest of the batsmen fell to a mix of prods and impulsive shots.
Kartik, who bowled for a large part from the BEML end switched over to the Pavilion end and found better purchase as a few deliveries spun and bounced to catch the batsman off-guard.
Karnataka — 1st innings: K.B. Pawan c Raja Ali b Kartik 54, R. Uthappa c Anurit b Harvinder 131, Ganesh Satish lbw b Harvinder 18, C. Raghu c Kartik b Karan 0, Thilak Naidu c Mahesh Rawat b Kartik 19, Bharat Chipli c Harshad Rawle b Kartik 19, Manish Pandey (batting) 13, S. Joshi (batting) 5; Extras (lb-3, nb-2): 5. Total (for six wkts. in 90 overs): 264.
Fall of wickets: 1-157, 2-191, 3-192, 4-221, 5-231, 6-253.
Railways bowling: Bangar 10-5-30-0, Anurit 13-2-49-0, Harvinder 17-5-52-2, Sanyal 6-2-9-0, Kartik 24-7-65-3, Karan 20-3-56-1.