Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Devdutt Padikkal, S. Sharath save Karnataka the blushes

Karnataka manages to take the crucial first-innings lead against Railways.

File Photo: Devdutt Padikkal scored his sixth First-Class half-century this season.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

The weather gods finally relented for a full-day’s play but Karnataka almost made a hash of its chances, just about managing to get a first-innings lead and the crucial three points against Railways on Day Three of their Elite B Group seventh-round match here on Wednesday.

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Requiring 183 to overhaul Railways’ first-innings target, Karnataka batsmen faltered yet again, like they have throughout the season, with Devdutt Padikkal being the lone bright spot through the top and middle order. But it took an aggressive rearguard action for Karnataka to finally get past the mark. At stumps, it was 17 runs ahead, with a wicket in hand.

Racing against the fading light

K. Gowtham and S. Sharath added 64 runs in 12 overs for the seventh wicket, turning the post-tea session into a virtual limited-overs game as Karnataka raced against the fading light. Gowtham struck a 31-ball 41 before falling to a slower one from Amit Mishra — who got a fifer — and Karnataka, nine runs from lead, would have hoped he had done enough. Two wickets had fallen in three balls with the ball suddenly reversing — Railways was on top again.

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Prateek Jain hung on for four overs to support Sharath who finally tapped Mishra to cover for a misfield and a single in the 55th over. That was also the only period of excitement on the day. Sharath, playing his first game of the season, was unbeaten on 56 and Jain on two at stumps.

Prolific Padikkal

Padikkal, meanwhile, continued his scoring form in his maiden First-Class season with his sixth half-century even as the rest continued to falter, failing to hang around long enough or a decent partnership. Credit, though, should go to the Railways medium pacers who used the conditions well. With the ball staying low and skidding on to the stumps, testing the opposition defence and little assistance from the pitch, Himanshu Sangwan and Mishra concentrated more on bowling a tight line and in the right areas, avoiding anything short that might allow space to the batsmen to play their shots.

Earlier, it took just five overs for Karnataka to wrap up the Railways innings for an addition of 22 runs. The three wickets remaining to be taken were taken quickly.

Abhimanyu Mithun and Prateek Jain shared the spoils, with the latter getting his maiden First-Class fifer.

Scores
  • Railways -1st innings: Mrunal Devdhar lbw b Jain 12, Ashish Sehrawat c Sharath b Mithun 0, Saurabh Singh b Jain 7, Arindam Ghosh c Kadam b Mithun 59, Mahesh Rawat b Jain 0, Dinesh Mor b Jain 4, Harsh Tyagi c Sharath b Mithun 9, Avinash Yadav c Padikkal b More 62, Amit Mishra b Jain 10, Pradeep Poojar (not out) 9, Himanshu Sangwan c Sharath b Mithun 4; Extras (b-1, lb-2, nb-3) 6; Total (all out in 77.4 overs) 182.
  • Fall of Wickets: 1-5, 2-20, 3-23, 4-23, 5-29, 6-45, 7-142, 8-160, 9-178.
  • Karnataka bowling: Mithun 15.4-5-51-4, Jain 22-9-38-5, More 11-4-21-1, Gowtham 20-7-39-0, Gopal 9-0-30-0.
  • Karnataka -1st innings: R. Samarth b Mishra 0, Devdutt Padikkal c Rawat b Sangwan 55, Rohan Kadam lbw Mishra 2, Karun Nair lbw Sangwan 17, Siddharth lbw Sangwan 4, S. Sharath batting 56, Shreyas Gopal c Saurabh b Yadav 21, K. Gowtham c Tyagi b Mishra 41, Abhimanyu Mithun b Mishra 1, Ronit More b Mishra 0, Prateek Jain batting 2; Extras (b-4, lb-2, w-1, nb-2) 9.
  • Total (for nine wickets in 65 overs) 199.
  • Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-21, 3-57, 4-65, 5-85, 6-110, 7-174, 8-177, 9-177.
  • Railways bowling: Mishra 20-4-70-5, Poojar 12-4-27-0, Sangwan 15-3-47-3, Yadav 12-0-36-1, Tyagi 6-0-13-0.

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