Ranji Trophy: Mayank Agarwal fights back

India Test opener Agarwal, who had struggled to score in the first innings of the Ranji Trophy semifinal, plays a crucial knock of 46 in the second to extend Karnataka's lead against Saurashtra.

Mayank Agarwal also judged and defended the tricky balls. At times, by hopping across the wicket.   -  Sudhakara Jain

India Test opener Mayank Agarwal fought back in the second innings of the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Saurashtra at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

Coming back from a series-win in Australia, the Karnataka batsman had struggled against the pace duo of Chetan Sakariya and Jaydev Unadkat in the first innings, scoring only 2 off 30 balls.

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Karnataka's slender lead of 39 runs helped Agarwal stay positive and play his natural shots. The right-hander got off the mark in his fifth ball with a classy boundary off Unadkat behind square.

Agarwal also judged and defended the tricky balls. At times, by hopping across the wicket. He left majority of the balls on the fourth stump line to not repeat the first innings error.

He, however, was dropped on 11 by Arpit Vasavada at slip off Sakariya.

Unadkat also changed his angle [round the wicket] to test Agarwal. There were a few deliveries that beat the batsman but the boundaries never stopped flowing.

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The left-arm pacer bowled a couple of half-volleys outside off that Agarwal successfully disposed through gaps.

There was a period when Agarwal and Karnataka skipper Manish Pandey dealt only in singles to rebuild after a 52-3 situation.

Agarwal batted for 139 minutes to score 46 off 77 balls. The six fours were artsy and skillful.

He fell prey to a tossed-up delivery by Dharmendrasinh Jadeja that spun away from the middle in the 31st over. Agarwal missed his fifty but he had done the job for his side.