Ranji Trophy: Raina falters again as Karnataka flexes muscles

Suresh Raina’s miserable run continued to dent Uttar Pradesh’s campaign in the Ranji Trophy this season. The left-hander, looking to make a comeback to the national side, lasted only three balls as Karnataka looked set to take the first innings lead at the end of the third day’s play in their Group ‘A’ match at the Green Park stadium here.

Suresh Raina failed to make a mark for Uttar Pradesh this season.   -  PTI

Suresh Raina’s miserable run continued to dent Uttar Pradesh’s campaign in the Ranji Trophy this season. The left-hander, looking to make a comeback to the national side, lasted only three balls as Karnataka looked set to take the first innings lead at the end of the third day’s play in their Group ‘A’ match at the Green Park stadium here.

With an aggregate of 105 runs from nine innings, Raina, could end up the season without a half century against his name assuming he does not get to bat again. This is Uttar Pradesh’s sixth and last match of the league as it battles to avoid a bottom finish. The home team ended the day at 243 for five when play was called off with 12 overs remaining.

Scoreboard

Resuming at 642 for seven, Karnataka added 13 more runs this morning. The home team was served with distinction by seamer Imtiaz Ahmed, who finished with six wickets. He had lamented the fact that consistency had not been his strong point this year but the stocky bowler from Varanasi made an impression with his diligence.

“This season has taught me the importance to take the hard times in your stride. You have to back yourself on pitches which don’t offer help. Here I was banking on usng the old ball. The reverse swing helped me a lot,” said Imtiaz, the best bowler on view in this contest thus far.

Faced with an imposing target for the first innings honours, Uttar Pradesh began on a rousing note with openers Umang Sharma and Shivam Chaudhary, hardly perturbed by the situation, adding 106 runs in an entertaining partnership. They played their strokes and scattered the attacking field they were confronted with.

READ: Ranji Trophy: Karnataka sends UP on leather hunt

The lanky Chaudhary played the dominant role, hitting six fours and three sixes, but he was the first to go when off-spinner K. Gowtham pierced through his defensive prod, the ball slipping in between bat and pad. Four balls later Uttar Pradesh lost Raina, trapped in front of the wicket.

Umang Sharma and left-handed Mohammad Saif applied themselves well, opting tpo play the ball on merit than taking chances. Umang, who batted 158 balls, fell to uncharacteristic complacence, the batsman’s jab offering a sharp chance to Vinay Kumar on his left at slip. The Karnataka skipper took a good reflex catch to end a good innings.