Services skipper Rajat Paliwal came good with a fine century but it was not enough to deny Karnataka the crucial first-innings lead, on the third day of their Ranji Trophy encounter at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The seventh-wicket pair of Paliwal (124, 217b, 14x4) and Rahul Singh (36, 108b, 5x4) threatened to take Services past Karnataka’s total of 304. Paliwal’s dismissal with the team score on 237 turned the tide in Karnataka’s favour. Paliwal was taken at slip by Nikin Jose, but the batter indicated to the umpires and teammates that the catch was taken on the bounce.
Rahul’s exit a few overs later was the end of the road for Services. In the second essay, the home team moved to 90 for no loss to record an overall lead of 133 runs.
Karnataka sits in a comfortable position despite an average show. The bowling attack was less than threatening, and the catching suspect. Paliwal and Rahul faced little trouble playing out the overs, as the Karnataka bowlers - barring pacer Vidwath Kaverappa - failed to land it consistently in the right areas. Paliwal received a life when Vishal Onat dropped a catch in the first ball of the day.
Overnight batter Ravi Chauhan was also put down, by wicketkeeper B.R. Sharath. Chauhan, however, did not make the most of the second chance, slogging K. Gowtham to mid-on soon after.
Captain Mayank Agarwal faced embarrassment when he fluffed an easy skier at cover.
Umpire Rajeev Godara did not inspire confidence when he gave the marching orders to Paliwal and Pulkit Narang. On both occasions, Godara made noticeably delayed decisions, which may have led the batters to believe that he yielded to long, forceful appeals from the theatric Karnataka unit.
Godara and his partner C. Shamshuddin came into focus when they decided to stop play, citing bad light when the evening sun shone bright. Karnataka openers Mayank and R. Samarth - keen to bat on - stuck around at the crease, even as the Services players exited the field. Mayank, in particular, was none too pleased to see action come to a close.
Karnataka - 1st innings: 304
Services - 1st innings: Shubham Rohilla c Jose b Kaverappa 8, Ravi Chauhan c Agarwal b Gowtham 56, Rahul Singh b Kaverappa 0, Aanshul Gupta c Sharath b Kaverappa 0, Rajat Paliwal c Jose b Shreyas 124, Devender Lohchab c Shreyas b Vyshak 6, Pulkit Narang c Sharath b Kaverappa 10, Rahul Singh b Sharath b More 36, Diwesh Pathania lbw More 11, Arpit Guleria (not out) 7, Nishan Singh b More 0, Extras (lb-2, w-1): 3; Total (in 83.2 overs): 261.
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-8, 3-12, 4-78, 5-134, 6-157, 7-237, 8-252, 9-261, 10-261
Services bowling: Kaverappa 21-4-64-4, Vyshak 16-1-63-1, More 16.2-3-54-3, Gowtham 19-2-39-1, Shreyas Gopal 11-0-39-1.
Karnataka - 2nd innings: R. Samarth (batting) 40, Mayank Agarwal (batting) 47, Extras (b-1, w-1, nb-1): 3; Total (for no loss, in 25 overs): 90.
Services bowling: Diwesh Pathania 5-0-31-0, Nishan Singh 5-2-7-0, Arpit Guleria 7-1-24-0, Pulkit Narang 8-1-27-0.
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