Ranji Trophy: Pandey ton takes Karnataka to big total

Manish Pandey has done some heavy lifting as the Karnataka skipper, making light of the responsibility.

Karnataka skipper Manish Pandey brought up his second Ranji hundred of the season on Day 2 on Friday.   -  RV MOORTHY

Manish Pandey has done some heavy lifting as the Karnataka skipper, making light of the responsibility.

Feisty and combative, he stands firm, builds monuments and upsets opposition’s plans. A man for all seasons and formats.

A quick-thinking, fleet-footed and hard-running batter, if not the most accomplished technically, Pandey pulled his weight yet again.

His 107 not out on a rain-marred second day of this Ranji Trophy encounter against Pondicherry at the SSN ground on Friday being a case in point.

Nayan shows fight

After Karnataka declared at 453 for eight, Pondicherry was 52 for two with play extended by 90 minutes to accommodate the overs. Opener Nayan Kangayan, who displayed some fight, was batting on 24.

K. Aravind was held in the cordon off paceman Vidyadhar Patil and Sagar Udeshi was caught behind off the pacey Prasidh Krishna.

Karnataka lost early wickets but Pandey, who faced 161 balls and struck seven fours and three sixes for his 21st first class hundred, rallied with the lower-order, rotating the strike and striking the odd big blow.

Good placements

Pandey drove, punched, cut and hooked; his placements were as good as the timing.

A straight six off left-arm spinner Udeshi and a hooked boundary off paceman Ashith Rajiv were compelling blows.

In the morning, Devdutt Padikkal missed out on a double hundred snared by a delivery that straightened at the left-hander from Rajiv.

Yet, Padikkal’s innings of 178 (209b, 23x4, 2x6) underlined the opener’s determination to convert his maiden Ranji three-figure innings into a big hundred.

B.R. Sharath fell to an away seamer from Rajiv to hand the paceman his fourth wicket. Interestingly, Rajiv hails from Belgaum in Karnataka. Rajiv is not the quickest but gets the ball to seam around from a good wrist and seam position.

Karnataka kept losing wickets, seamer Subodh Bhatti having Shreyas Gopal caught at fine-leg and trapping K. Gowtham leg-before with one that held its line.

It rained at the stroke of lunch. Wet ground conditions meant play resumed only at 3.30 p.m.

Not much later, Pandey had reached yet another Ranji Trophy milestone.

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