Vinay revels against tougher opponents, yet again

Vinay Kumar raised the bar with a six-wicket haul, including a hat-trick in the first fifteen minutes, on a virtually flat pitch.

Vinay Kumar was at his lethal best against Mumbai on Thursday.   -  Prashant Nakwe

The last time R. Vinay Kumar bowled against Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy knock-out match, he spelled doom in Mumbai's batting order with a spell that read six for 20. The Karnataka captain repeated his feat in a milestone match to put his team in the steering wheel of the Ranji quarterfinal against the same opposition.

Karnataka vs Mumbai, DAY 1 report

Veterans like Vinay have the knack of raising the bar against tough opponents. He showed the trait yet again with a six-wicket haul, including a hat-trick in the first fifteen minutes, on a virtually flat pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground on Thursday.

“It's always good to perform against a good team. Mumbai is like a great side and they have been doing well for many years,” a delighted Vinay said after the end of the opening day's play.

Ranji Trophy Quarterfinals, Day 1:  As it happened

“Whenever we play against Mumbai, I myself take it as a challenge and try and bowl well. Sometimes I get the wickets, sometimes I might not get the wickets but that approach should be there and I am happy that most of the times I am doing well against them.”

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Despite the hat-trick, Vinay still rated his outing that February evening in 2015 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru better than Thursday's. “That was the best one actually because we were bowled out for 200 (202) and then we came back and got them all out for 44,” he said. “It was a semifinal, a must-win game and we didn't put a big score on the board. Getting them all out for 44 was the best moment for me. Even though I got my second hat-trick today, I feel that was the best spell for me.”