Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Gowtham's quick-fire 82 keeps Karnataka on top

Madhya Pradesh bowls 73 extras amid Krishnappa Gowtham rampage (82 off 68 balls), finishes second day's play at 60 for the loss of two wickets.

Krishnappa Gowtham scored 82 off 68 balls against Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.   -  FILE PHOTO/K. MURALI KUMAR


Madhya Pradesh did not crumble as Karnataka might have hoped but the second day of this Ranji Trophy tie still belonged to the home side. K. Gowtham produced a typically attacking 82 (68b, 7x4, 4x6) while Shreyas Gopal made a composed 50 as Karnataka finished its first innings on 426: a tidy total after being put in to bat in tricky conditions.

The Madhya Pradesh innings began shortly before tea, and Karnataka broke through almost immediately. Left-arm seamer Prateek Jain struck with his second ball, sending Rajat Patidar's off-stump cartwheeling. Rameez Khan and Yash Dubey dug in, though, and it was not until two hours later that the former was dismissed, trapped leg-before by Abhimanyu Mithun. At stumps at the KSCA Navule Stadium on Wednesday, the visitor was 60 for two, still 366 runs in arrears.

In the morning, Madhya Pradesh packed off Karnataka's overnight pair swiftly. K.V. Siddharth fell in the day's fifth over, bowled by Ravi Yadav via an inside-edge. R. Samarth departed in Yadav's next over, out LBW after having added three to his overnight score. Sharath Srinivas hung around for his 15 runs before his off-stump was uprooted by a sharp delivery from Kuldeep Sen.

That wicket brought K. Gowtham to the crease, and at once the crowd — made up primarily of children from local schools — burst into applause. Gowtham did not disappoint his young supporters. The second ball he faced, from Gourav Yadav, was steered through gully for four; the third was nonchalantly ramped for six over the top of the wicket-keeper’s head. The left-arm spin of Kartikeya Singh was thumped over the sight-screen.

Karnataka went into lunch with the score 341/6; on the other side, Gowtham's entertainment continued unabated. He raised his fifty off 49 balls, with a lofted straight-drive off Kuldeep. Gowtham followed that up with a boundary through the covers, and then another casual ramp shot that sailed over the rope.

At the other end, Shreyas Gopal played a good foil. The all-rounder completed his second half-century of the season moments before lashing out at a wide delivery, to be caught behind. He and Gowtham had added 126 quick runs (108b) for the seventh wicket, steering Karnataka past 400. The final total contained a massive 73 runs in extras; Madhya Pradesh did itself no favours.

Brief scores: Karnataka 426 (R. Samarth 108, K Gowtham 82; R Yadav 3/61, K Kartikeya 3/99); Madhya Pradesh 60/2 (R. Khan 22; A Mithun 1/10) trails by 366 runs
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