Ranji Round 5 Day 3: Uthappa scores quickfire century

His 160 off 138 balls allowed Karnataka to sight victory after a fruitful third day against Rajasthan in Jaipur.

Robin Uthappa plays a sweep en route to an attacking 160 for Karnataka on Day Three against Rajasthan in Jaipur.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Mahesh Rawat scored an unbeaten half-century after his team, Railways, were forced to follow on against Tamil Nadu at the Karnal Singh Stadium in New Delhi.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A rapid century from Robin Uthappa has allowed Karnataka to sight victory on the final day against Rajasthan in Jaipur. Armed with a first-innings lead that stands as an advantage in case of a draw, Karnataka piled on runs quickly to give themselves the chance of an outright win. Uthappa’s 160 took 128 balls, and his effort was backed by a half-century from opener Abhishek Reddy, and smaller contributions from Stuart Binny and CM Gautam, so Karnataka could gather 318 for 5 at 5.04 runs an over. Early inroads by their seamers before stumps ensured they were seven wickets away from victory with a full day to go.

When the third day began, Rajasthan needed 63 runs to take a first-innings lead, with three wickets in hand. The tail was quickly snuffed out by seamers Sreenath Aravind and Vinay Kumar. When Karnataka batted, Reddy, with his boundaries upfront, ensured a high rate of scoring, and was later joined in the crease by Uthappa, at the fall of the second wicket in the 19th over. The two put on 101 in 19 overs, before Reddy was stumped off medium-fast bowler Rajat Bhatia. The attack stepped up when Uthappa combined with Gautam to plunder 97 runs in 13.5 overs.

Soon after Uthappa got out, Vinay Kumar declared. His seamers reduced Rajasthan to 42 for 3 in the 15 overs bowled to their batsmen before stumps. Aravind accounted for opener Vineet Saxena and No. 3 Vaibhav Deshpande, and David Mathias dismissed their captain Ashok Menaria.

In Rohtak, Bengal have crumbled in their second innings, after gaining a 104-run lead against Haryana, to lose their grip on the encounter. Medium-fast bowler Ashish Hooda served as the chief wrecker, with four wickets, to help his team reduce Bengal to 146 for 7 at close on the third day. Haryana’s tail added 39 runs from their overnight score of 186 for 8, and then their bowlers chipped away at Bengal.

The top-scorer for Bengal was Sudip Chatterjee, who scored 49.

Scores:

Group A

Bengal 329 and 146 for 7 (Chatterjee 49, Hooda 4 for 39) lead Haryana 225 in Rohtak

Maharashtra 237 and 3 for 1 trail Vidarbha 332 and 149 (Ubarhande 47, Darekar 5 for 78) by 241 runs in Nagpur

Odisha 195 for 4 (Sarangi 76 not out, Behera 62) trail Delhi 311 by 116 runs in Bhubaneswar

Rajasthan 242 and 42 for 3 trail Karnataka 281 and 318 for 5 dec. (Uthappa 160, Reddy 69) by 315 runs in Jaipur

Group B

Uttar Pradesh 273 and 257 beat Gujarat 100 and 275 (Juneja 91, Axar Patel 80, Merai 54, Saurabh Kumar 5 for 106) by 155 runs in Valsad

Madhya Pradesh 269 and 113 for 2 lead Baroda 296 (Waghmode 68, Yusuf Pathan 55, Hooda 51, Singh 48, Hirwani 5 for 60) by 86 runs in Vadodara

Railways 164 and 200 for 4 (f/o) (Cheluvaraj 80 not out, Rawat 77 not out) lead Tamil Nadu 328 by 36 runs

Group C

Tripura 285 and 88 for 3 trail Himachal Pradesh 561 for 5 dec (Dogra 209 not out, Bains 114, Chopra 101, Bist 58, Gangta 50) by 188 runs in Dharamsala

Jharkhand 159 for 4 (Kumar 51, Gautam 44 not out) trail Goa 302 (Asnodkar 71, Jadhav 63, Quadri 6 for 97) by 143 runs in Jamshedpur

Hyderabad 280 and 122 for 2 (f/o) (Prince 56 not out, Vihari 46 not out) trail Jammu and Kashmir by 58 runs in Hyderabad

Services 254 and 311 for 6 (Singh 115 not out, Paliwal 103) lead Saurashtra 264 by 301 runs in New Delhi

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