Ranji Trophy semifinals: Karnataka, Vidarbha share honours on day dominated by bowlers

Fast bowlers - from both camps - fancied their chances on an Eden Gardens pitch which offered ample movement.

Wickets fell in a heap as the pacers called the shots on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal fixture between Karnataka and Vidarbha here on Sunday.   -  PTI

Wickets fell in a heap as the pacers called the shots on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy semifinal fixture between Karnataka and Vidarbha here on Sunday.

Fast bowlers - from both camps - fancied their chances on an Eden Gardens pitch which offered ample movement.

As it happened

After opting to bat, Vidarbha was dismissed for a partly 185, with A. Mithun picking up his third five-for of the season. Vidarbha managed to get its own back, scalping three Karnataka wickets by close of play.

Scorecard

Pacers wreck havoc

The morning and afternoon sessions saw the Karnataka speedsters wreck havoc. Mithun, Vinay Kumar, S. Arvind and Stuart Binny kept the ball full and moved it around. The batters faced a torrid time, playing and missing on a regular basis. When they did make contact, it was not convincing, as edges flew to the slip region.

After openers Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy both fell leg-before, Wasim Jaffer and Ganesh Satish steadied the ship. Jaffer (39, 85b, 8x4) countered the threat by shouldering arms to deliveries even marginally outside the off-stump, and some were left to pass over the stumps. The old warhorse connected with a few delightful back-foot drives to keep the score ticking.

Satish (31, 56b, 6x4) fell to a delightful one-handed catch by wicket-keeper C.M. Gautam, who flew to his left to grab a flick. Next man Apoorv Wankhade, who hit a century in the previous match, lasted just four balls. He was bowled by Mithun, attempting an expansive drive.

 

Mithun shines with the ball

Arvind got the crucial wicket of Jaffer, who edged an outswinger to Samarth. Mithun then blew away the tail in a fiery spell. This included a three-wicket burst in four balls, which effectively ended Vidarbha’s hopes of getting past the 200-run mark. Five-drop Aditya Sarvate fought hard for his 64-ball 47, and was the last man to go.

The two spinners - K. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal - were required to bowl a mere 3.4 overs.

The Vidarbha total could have been even smaller, if not for some poor slip catching. Mayank Agarwal and S. Arvind put down one chance each, while one edge bisected Mayank and Samarth in the cordon.

With the fast bowlers continuing to receive plenty of assistance from the pitch, Karnataka faced its share of batting woes. Samarth nicked one in the sixth over, while the in-form Mayank was trapped in front by India international Umesh Yadav.

Rajneesh Gurbani then produced a moment of magic when he had D. Nischal driving at a delivery which cut in sharply. The big gap between bat and bat resulted in an uprooted middle-stump.

Vinay Kumar suffers a bout of cramps

Karnataka skipper Vinay Kumar, meanwhile, suffered from a bout of cramps and left the stadium ahead of his teammates at the end of day’s play. His availability for the rest of the fixture will be decided after a fitness assessment on Monday morning.