Ranji Trophy: Samarth double ton propels Karnataka

Samarth was the central figure in Karntaka’s dominance of the opposition. He was relentless and unsparing in punishing the bowlers with a wide range of shots.

ranji trophy karnataka jharkhand

R. Samarth's double hundred helped Karnata score 577/6 in the first innings.   -  Sandeep Saxena

One of the substitutes from the Jharkhand camp rushed in with some energy drink even as R. Samarth made his way back to the dressing room after a brilliant knock of 235. Karnataka, resuming at 248 for three, declared at 577 for six.

Having been at the receiving end for most of the contest thus far, the Jharkhand players did not forget the spirit of the game as they made a beeline to pat Samarth for his innings that put Karnataka in a position to dictate.

The substitute member of the Jharkhand team sprinted towards Samarth, shook his hand, and joined his team-mates near the square. They had just about managed to cause a lapse in concentration in the batsman’s determination to carry on strongly.

Samarth, flawless in his occupation of the crease, had not fallen into the Jharkhand spinners’ trap until that fatal moment when he chose to swipe across the line only to see the stumps disturbed.

Samarth was the central figure in Karntaka’s dominance of the opposition. With a still head, he was relentless and unsparing in punishing the bowlers with a wide range of shots. His 115-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Kaunain Abbas propelled Karnataka into a position of strength. Abbas helped himself to a neat 55 off 118 balls (six fours and one six) before Stuart Binny took over the mantle of pushing the score at a brisk pace.

Binny was the dominant partner during the 185-run stand for the fifth wicket with Samarth. He missed is century by mere three runs and had himself to blame for playing an ambitious lofted shot. Binny’s departure allowed Jharkhand to slow down the scoring rate as Karnataka chose to depend on its experienced batsman in the middle.

“Our plan was to bat once and we have achieved that,” said Binny. “I wish I hadn’t played that shot but I am pleased with our game overall.”

The pitch turned out to be disappointing since there was little help for the bowlers. Jharkhand toiled to keep the run-flow under check.

Jharkhand captain Varun Aaron observed, “We played the catching up game after conceding some extra runs. It’s a flat pitch and there’s not much for the bowlers. But I wouldn’t take away any credit from Karnataka. They batted well.” That summed up the day’s play as Jharkhand finished at nine for no loss.