Cricket

Vinay and Pankaj take the spotlight

Hitting out: Vinay Kumar showed his batting prowess to help Karnataka put on a big score

Hitting out: Vinay Kumar showed his batting prowess to help Karnataka put on a big score  

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Karnataka batsman hits unbeaten 90, while the Chhattisgarh pacer scalps seven

A defiant unbeaten 90 from Vinay Kumar put Karnataka in the driver’s seat on the second day of its Ranji Trophy match against Chhattisgarh at Alur grounds here on Monday.

Vinay, who came in at seven-down, showed that he is more than capable with the bat, prolonging the Karnataka innings and Chhattisgarh’s misery.

He was left short of his third First Class century when last man Ronit More was castled by an inswinger from Vishal Singh.

A thoroughly disappointed Vinay threw his head back, but composed himself enough to pat More on the back as they returned to the pavilion.

Chhattisgarh fast bowler Pankaj Rao was brilliant once again, adding three wickets to his overnight tally. Pankaj removed D. Nischal on the very first ball of the day, when he got an outswinger to defeat the edge and hit the stumps.

The 29-year-old then accounted for all-rounders Shreyas Gopal (15) and K. Gowtham (15) to register figures of seven for 82 — his best in first-class cricket. Pankaj did exceptionally well to extract movement, both ways, from a good length. In reply, Chhattisgarh moved to 121 for three, 297 runs behind Karnataka’s total.

Early strikes

Earlier, the visitor started proceedings by picking up four wickets in the first nine overs of the day. Karnataka, in a spot of bother at 297 for eight, was rescued by Vinay. The final two wickets yielded a crucial 121 runs, with Vinay farming the strike in the company of A. Mithun (17) and More (10).

Vinay, recently relieved of captaincy duties, used the crease to counter the bowlers. He walked down to the pacers to smother the swing, and made room to pick the gaps in the cover and long-off regions.

The 34-year-old also ran well between the wickets, frustrating the opposition no end. The Chhattisgarh fielders were sloppy, missing a couple of run-out chances.

“Our target, which we discussed before start of play, was to cross 400. We achieved that. They used a defensive field when I was on strike, so I had to take calculated risks to get the runs,” Vinay said, “I’m not worried about missing my hundred. More got out to a superb ball. It happens.”

Mithun’s opening burst then reduced Chhattisgarh to 25 for three. A steady unbroken 96-run fourth-wicket stand between Amandeep Khare (43 batting, 80b, 5x4) and skipper Harpreet Singh (53 batting, 108b, 8x4) prevented any further damage.

The scores: Karnataka —1st innings: Devdutt Padikkal c Harpreet b Pankaj 0, D. Nischal b Pankaj 107, Liyan Khan lbw b Pankaj 9, K.V. Siddharth lbw b Pankaj 105, Manish Pandey c Mandal b Pankaj 40, Shreyas Gopal lbw b Pankaj 15, Srinivas Sharath c Manoj b Onkar 1, K. Gowtham c Ashutosh b Pankaj 15, Vinay Kumar (not out) 90, A. Mithun lbw b Harpreet 17, Ronit More b Vishal 10; Extras (nb-1, b-6, w-1, lb-2): 9; Total (in 131.4 overs): 418.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-16, 3-179, 4-253, 5-273, 6-274, 7-294, 8-297, 9-350.

Chhattisgarh bowling: Pankaj 29-6-82-7, Onkar 26-3-91-1, Vishal 17.4-4-76-1, Ajay 25-4-70-0, Harpreet 25-6-54-1, Shivendra 9-0-38-0.

Chhattisgarh —1st innings: Avnish Singh b Mithun 16, Anuj Tiwary lbw b Mithun 4, Manoj Singh c Sharath b Mithun 4, Amandeep Khare (batting) 43, Harpreet Singh (batting) 53; Extras (w-1): 1; Total (for three wkts. in 38 overs): 121.

Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-24, 3-25.

Karnataka bowling: Mithun 8-1-26-3, Vinay 8-1-21-0, More 9-3-28-0, Gowtham 6-0-31-0, Gopal 7-2-15-0.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 7:27:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/vinay-and-pankaj-take-the-spotlight/article25873541.ece

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