Ranji Trophy: Shreyas Gopal, Vinay Kumar rescue Karnataka

Survival was the order of the day, as the two sides combined to score just 164 runs in 78.2 overs.

Shreyas Gopal stated that his crucial knock was all about showing patience.   -  FILE PHOTO/PRASHANT NAKWE


A stubborn 63-run eighth-wicket partnership between Shreyas Gopal (40,100b, 4x5) and Vinay Kumar 26 (72b, 4x4, 1x6) kept an advancing Maharashtra at bay, on the second day of its Ranji Trophy encounter here on Thursday.

The duo’s stand helped Karnataka gain a handy 73-run first innings lead. When action came to a close, Maharashtra was reduced to 48 for 3, trailing by 25 runs. If Karnataka manages to take a couple of early wickets on Friday, it will be on the wheels, while Maharashtra needs a big partnership to put pressure on the host.

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Overcast conditions and a lively SDNR Wadeyar Ground pitch meant that runs came at a premium. Survival was the order of the day, as the two sides combined to score just 164 runs in 78.2 overs.

Resuming on 70 for three, the Karnataka batters were severely tested by the pace duo of Anupam Sanklecha and Samad Fallah. While Sanklecha hit the deck hard, Fallah teased his rivals by keeping it full. In quick time, D. Nischal, Pavan Deshpande, J. Suchith and B.R. Sharath were sent back to the hut.

At this stage, Karnataka was in a spot of bother at 109 for seven. Shreyas took the home team past Maharashtra’s small total of 113 with a square-cut boundary, and in the company of Vinay, he pulled Karnataka out of the hole. Vinay was the more adventurous of the two, frequently stepping down the track to Fallah to negate the swing.

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Left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bachhav triggered a collapse when he trapped Vinay on the pads. Shreyas was next to go, missing a sharp turner from part-time offie Chirag Khurana.

Maharashtra, in keeping with the trend in this outing, was circumspect with the bat. This approach didn’t work for opener Swapnil Gugale (0, 11b), who chopped on a low Mithun delivery onto the stumps. Shreyas had great success with his flat, quick wrist spin. He first castled debutant Jay Pande, whose slog sweep went horribly wrong.

In his next over, Shreyas pinned Khurana to the crease and won a leg-before verdict. Nightwatchman Bachhav did well to hang around for 40 minutes, and remained unbeaten on 4.

Shreyas stated that his side has a slight upper hand, and that his crucial knock was all about showing patience. “I wanted to bat for time, and tire out the bowlers. The aim was to make the bowlers come back for their third and fourth spells. It’s a slow pitch, where runs don’t come easy,” Shreyas said.

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