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Stirring comeback by Karnataka

K.C. Vijaya Kumar
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Karnataka's Lokesh Rahul takes a stunningone-handed catch to dismiss Delhi's Vaibhav Rawal on Tuesday.— Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
Karnataka's Lokesh Rahul takes a stunningone-handed catch to dismiss Delhi's Vaibhav Rawal on Tuesday.— Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Pushed to the brink ahead of the game and further grounded after conceding a first-innings lead, Karnataka found deep reserves of strength to mount a stirring comeback and defeat Delhi by 159 runs in a Ranji Trophy Group B match that concluded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Tuesday.

Chasing 410 and resuming at the overnight 40 for three, Delhi mustered 250 in its second innings. The defeat left the visitor stranded at 11 points from six games while Karnataka drew level with it. The host will be enthused with the fact that it has played just five games and has three more contests to strengthen its chances of a knock-out berth.

Delhi stumbled in the morning with Mohit Sharma and Vaibhav Rawal edging behind the wicket though the latter’s dismissal created heartburn among Shikhar Dhawan’s men and coach Vijay Dahiya said: “We felt it was a bump-catch (by fielder K.L. Rahul) and the umpires could have sought the help of technology.”

The visitor desperately needed a match-saving partnership and its two seasoned campaigners Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia combined well to offer hope though they only delayed the inevitable.

Manhas (80, 168b, 11x4) and Bhatia (63) shared a 110-run sixth-wicket partnership that mixed caution and aggression across 226 deliveries.

Manhas was strong off his legs and Bhatia pulled and drove and gradually Delhi seemed headed towards safety. However ‘Man of the Match’ Stuart Binny stepped in and delivered the killer-punch during an incisive spell (11-4-38-2) on either side of the tea-break.

Binny’s slow bouncer lured Manhas and Bhatia was stunned by debutant Kunal Kapoor’s one-handed catch at short-cover. The rest caved in and soon it was time for the Karnataka squad to celebrate a special triumph.

The scores: Karnataka — 1st innings: 192.

Delhi — 1st innings: 258.

Karnataka — 2nd innings: 475 for nine decl.

Delhi — 2nd innings: Unmukt Chand lbw b Vinay 18, Shikhar Dhawan lbw b Sharath 13, Mohit Sharma c Gautam b Mithun 4, Vikas Mishra c Rahul b Sharath 0, Mithun Manhas c Pandey b Binny 80, Vaibhav Rawal c Rahul b Sharath 13, Rajat Bhatia c Kunal b Binny 63, Punit Bisht c Pandey b Appanna 2, Sumit Narwal c Uthappa b Vinay 41, Parvinder Awana c Rahul b Vinay 6, Ashish Nehra (not out) 0; Extras (b-8, lb-1, nb-1): 10; Total (in 81.5 overs): 250.

Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-35, 3-35, 4-43, 5-76, 6-186, 7-203, 8-209, 9-250.

Karnataka bowling: Vinay Kumar 18.5-5-59-3, Abhimanyu Mithun 20-3-72-1, H.S. Sharath 14-3-40-3, Stuart Binny 19-5-60-2, K.P. Appanna 9-3-10-1, Kunal Kapoor 1-1-0-0.

Other scores: The scores (round six, day four): Group A: At Mumbai: Punjab 580 & 59 in 23.5 overs (Ankeet Chavan nine for 23) drew with Mumbai 485 in 160.5 overs (Kaustubh Pawar 78, Rohit Sharma 203, Hiken Shah 54, Abhishek Nayar 51, Manpreet Gony five for 87) & 61 for two in six overs. Points: Punjab 3 (32), Mumbai 1 (11).

At Bhubaneswar: Madhya Pradesh 377 drew with Railways 214 & 251 for eight in 113 overs (Mahesh Rawat 106, Parag Madkaikar 52). Madhya Pradesh 3 (14), Railways 1 (7). At Rajkot: Saurashtra 209 & 333 for eight decl. bt Bengal 112 & 160 in 55.4 overs (Rohan Banerjee 47, Ravindra Jadeja four for 50). Saurashtra 6 (15), Bengal 0 (7).

At Ahmedabad: Rajasthan 294 & 119 in 62.2 overs (Rakesh Dhurv eight for 31) lost to Gujarat 312 & 105 for two in 25.2 overs (Smit Patel 47). Gujarat 6 (15), Rajasthan 0 (5).

Group B: At Pune: Haryana 257 & 255 for seven in 116 overs (Sunny Singh 54, Abhimanyu Khod 42) drew with Maharashtra 540 for eight decl. Maharashtra 3 (8), Haryana 1 (7).

At Nagpur: Uttar Pradesh 548 for eight decl. & 175 for three in 51 overs (Suresh Raina 105 n.o., Mohammad Kaif 42) drew with Vidarbha 308 in 102.3 overs (Faiz Fazal 45, Amol Ubarhande 42, Hemang Badani 76). Uttar Pradesh 3 (20), Vidarbha 1 (12).

Group C: At Guwahati: Assam 354 drew with Himachal Pradesh 316 for five in 124 overs (Aakash Chopra 55, Rishi Dhawan 114 n.o., Aatish Bhalaik 57 n.o.). Assam 1 (17), Himachal Pradesh 1 (11).

At Porvorim (Goa): Services 473 & 99 for two in 39 overs (Anshul Gupta 62 n.o.) drew with Goa 381 in 152.1 overs (Swapnil Asnodkar 74, Amogh Desai 40, Ravikant Shukla 78, Rohit Asnodkar 83, Yashpal Singh four for 12). Services 3 (20), Goa 1 (9) .

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