Ranji Trophy: Mayank’s triple ton takes Karnataka closer to win

Mayank scored an unbeaten 304 and Karun hit his 12th first-class hundred as Karnataka declared its first innings at

Mayank Agarwal continued to torment Maharashtra bowlers on Friday and scored a triple hundred.   -  Mandar Tannu

Mayank Agarwal came here with just 31 runs from two matches. But he will leave the city as one of the leading scorers of this Ranji Trophy tournament.

He remained not out after being at the crease at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium for three days. His unbeaten 304 (494b, 727min, 28x4, 4x6) took Karnataka close to what could be its third successive win.

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After declaring its first innings total at 628 for five, soon after Mayank reached his milestone, Karnataka took Maharashtra’s four second-innings wickets before close.

The host ended the third day at 135 for four, still trailing by 248 runs. Its slim hopes of saving this match rest largely on the unbroken fifth wicket stand between Ruturaj Gaikwad (61 batting) and the centurion from the first innings Rahul Tripathi (33 batting).

MATCH REPORT: Day 1, Day 2

The duo have added 51 so far, but their team needs much more on the final day against a set of bowlers who have made it look as though they were bowling on another wicket. If it was captain R. Vinay Kumar who broke the back of Maharashtra’s batting in the first innings, in the second it was his new-ball partner Abhimanyu Mithun who did most of the damage.

Abhimanyu Mithun celebrates the fall of a wicket on Friday.   -  Mandar Tannu

 

He bowled exceptionally well to trouble the Maharashtra top order. He sent back both openers, Swapnil Gugale and Harshad Khadiwale, forcing them to edge the ball the wicketkeeper C.M. Gautam. Ruturaj Gaikwad and captain Ankit Bawne, however, added 54 for the third wicket to calm the nerves a bit in the dressing room.

LIVE BLOG: Ranji Trophy, Day 3

But, third seamer Ronit More dismissed Bawane lbw with a ball that came sharply in. Then Stuart Binny, the fourth cog of the Karnataka seam attack, also got into the thick of action, making Naushad Shaikh snick one into the safe gloves of Gautam.

Maharashtra, however, had one slice of luck when Gaikwad, on 45, was dropped in the slips by Pavan Deshpande off Mithun.

Earlier, Karnataka had resumed at 461 for two. The overnight batsmen, Mayank and Karun Nair (116, 256b, 300min, 13x4), went on to add 270 for the third wicket.

It was the 12th first-class hundred for Karun, in 52 matches, while Mayank became only the third Karnataka batsman to hit a triple hundred in the Ranji Trophy when he played off-spinner Shaikh to the third man for a couple of runs.