Cricket

Karun stands tall, Karnataka bowled out for 166

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Speedster Abhinay claims a five-for for Himachal

Karun Nair (81, 185b, 8x4) stood tall among the ruins as an abject batting performance saw Karnataka being bowled out for 166 by Himachal Pradesh on day one of the Ranji Trophy encounter at the S.D.N.R. Wadiyar Stadium here on Wednesday.

If not for pacemen Prateek Jain and V. Koushik, who rocked the Himachal top-order by sending back key batsmen in Prashanth Chopra and Ankit Kalsi and reduced the side to 29/3, it would have been a largely forgettable day.

After the home side elected to bat on a breezy morning, speedster Kanwar Abhinay, who last played a First Class match two years ago, wreaked havoc with a five-wicket haul (15-6-37-5), snaring both Mayank Agarwal and Devdutt Padikkal for nought.

Mayank slashed at the very first delivery of the day only to be caught behind, while Padikkal couldn’t keep a flick down and was snapped up at square-leg. R. Samarth began with a sweetly timed four down the ground but his stay was short-lived too as Abhinay trapped him in front.

Deadly spell

In a deadly first spell that read 7-4-12-3, the burly speed merchant had a wicket to show in each of his first three overs. It was left to Karun to arrest the momentum, which he first did by driving Abhinay immaculately to the cover boundary.

At the other end, D. Nischal held out for 47 deliveries before Rishi Dhawan had his measure. It brought Shreyas Gopal to the crease and with Karun he put on 56 for the fifth wicket. The duo looked comfortable for large tracts of the partnership with Shreyas, in particular, using his feet well.

But a lapse in judgement cost Shreyas dear as he fell leg-before while shouldering arms to pacer Vaibhav Arora. It was only three balls earlier that the latter had had to digest a drop off Karun Nair (on 38) by Sumit Verma at gully.

Karun capitalised and brought up a much needed half-century with a beautiful straight drive off Arora. Abhimanyu Mithun added 21 valuable runs in the company of his captain before Abhinay forced a hook and had him caught by the ‘keeper for his fifth scalp. The 28-year-old let out a huge cry in the direction of Mithun, which the latter didn’t approve of.

Running out of partners, Karun attempted a pull but couldn’t clear the deep mid-wicket fielder. With the benefit of hindsight, though, it appears that Karun has given his team just about enough breathing space.

The scores:

Karnataka — 1st innings: Mayank Agarwal c Bains b Abhinay 0, D. Nischal lbw b Dhawan 16, Devdutt Padikkal c Gangta b Abhinay 0, R. Samarth lbw b Abhinay 4, Karun Nair c Khanduri b Dhawan 81, Shreyas Gopal lbw b Arora 27, B.R. Sharath lbw b Abhinay 2, J. Suchith c Bains b Arora 10, Abhimanyu Mithun c Bains b Abhinay 21, V. Koushik (not out) 0, Prateek Jain b Dhawan 0; Extras (lb-4, nb-1): 5; Total (in 67.2 overs): 166.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-2, 3-10, 4-30, 5-86, 6-89, 7-119, 8-148, 9-166.

Himachal bowling: Abhinay 15-6-37-5, Arora 19-4-41-2, Dhawan 15.2-2-27-3, Dagar 10-0-31-0, Vashisht 8-1-26-0.

Himachal — 1st innings: Priyanshu Khanduri (batting) 14, Prashant Chopra c Padikkal b Koushik 5, Sumeet Verma c Sharath b Prateek 7, Ankit Kalsi c Suchith b Prateek 0, Mayank Dagar (batting) 1; Extras (lb-1, nb-1): 2; Total (for three wkts. in 17 overs): 29.

Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-26, 3-26.

Karnataka bowling: Mithun 6-3-7-0, Koushik 6-2-10-1, Prateek 5-1-11-2.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 5:47:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/karun-stands-tall-karnataka-bowled-out-for-166/article30396617.ece

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