Venkatesh Iyer: The first innings lead is within reach

At stumps, the visitor was well within reach of Karnataka's 426, due to a defiant 188-run stand for the fifth wicket between Venkatesh Iyer and Aditya Shrivastava.

Madhya Pradesh batsman Venkatesh Iyer in action against Karnataka in Shivamogga on Thursday.   -  PTI

 

An hour into Thursday's proceedings, Madhya Pradesh was staring at the prospect of a huge first-innings deficit. By the close of play, the visitor was well within reach of Karnataka's 426, due to a defiant 188-run stand for the fifth wicket between Venkatesh Iyer and Aditya Shrivastava.

Venkatesh is confident that Madhya Pradesh can secure the first-innings lead on the fourth and final day. "It is surely within reach,” he said. “We are in contention. But it's important for us to regroup and play out the initial part tomorrow."

The two Madhya Pradesh batsmen did ride their luck, as Karnataka spurned chances in the field. "That is a part of the game," said Venkatesh, who has roots in Kumbakonam. "It happened in their innings as well, a wicket off a no-ball and a drop catch. He (Shrivastava) was keeping me focused every ball."

This was only Shrivastava's second batting innings after coming back into the Madhya Pradesh side following a two-year spell on the sidelines. He made 2 on his return, against Himachal Pradesh earlier this month; Thursday's century clearly meant a lot. "When I got dropped, seniors like Devendra Bundela (batting coach) helped me," he said. "He made me realize it was part of a cricketer's career. It happens to everyone. I understood my shortcomings and corrected them. This was a special innings. I made my debut also against Karnataka (2015), when I scored a hundred. So I see this match as the start of the second innings of my career."

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