Ranji Trophy: Karnataka calls the shots against Delhi

Karnataka turned the screws and all but batted Delhi out of the game after Mayank Agarwal and Stuart Binny score tons while Shreyas Gopal and A. Mithun added 101 for the last wicket.

Karnataka's Stuart Binny exults after scoring a century against Delhi in a Ranji Trophy league match.   -  Sampath Kumar G P

Karnataka turned the screws and all but batted Delhi out of the game on day two of the Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ fixture at the Alur ground near here on Friday. After Mayank Agarwal, it was Stuart Binny’s turn to make life miserable for Delhi as he scripted a stroke-filled ton (118, 155b, 18x4), his tenth in First Class cricket.


Later in the day, Shreyas Gopal and Abhimanyu Mithun showed how deep Karnataka batted as the two put together 101 runs for the 10th wicket and took their side to 649. Shreyas helped himself to 92 runs (165b, 11x4, 1x6) but was bowled around his legs by Vikas Sharma before he could complete what would have been a much-deserved century.

In reply, openers Gautam Gambhir and Unmukt Chand took Delhi to 20 for no loss at stumps and will be hoping for the wicket to stay as true as it has in the past two days to have any chance of upstaging Karnataka’s gigantic total.

Earlier, Delhi had waited till the second morning to take the new ball to give itself the best possible chance to peg the home side back. But the dismissal of overnight centurion Mayank for the addition of just seven more runs to his score had nothing to do with it. Instead he was run out, falling to a direct hit from Nitish Rana at point, while trying to steal a non-existent single.

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Neither did the early morning conditions trouble Binny or C.M. Gautam (46, 81b, 8x4) as the two stitched together a 111-run partnership. The former progressed at a brisk rate with hits to all parts of the ground. He brought up his half century with two consecutive fours — one straight down and the other square on the off-side. The century was had when Unmukt grassed a catch at first slip and the ball raced to the boundary.

Gautam, while not as flamboyant and flashy as Binny, looked steady, but was caught at short fine-leg top-edging a sweep. The wicket-keeper batsman will be gutted to not make good on the start, especially when runs haven’t quite flowed from his bat in recent matches.

“Just the way I batted today was something I wanted to do for a long time,” Binny said later. "In the last couple of seasons I have held back and not played the way I should be playing. I would rate this innings in my top three for sure.”
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