Ranji Trophy: Karnataka takes honours on day one

Assam was bowled out for 145, with only Gokul Sharma offering any resistance. The Assamese captain made 55 after he had been bowled off a no-ball on nought; the damage could so easily have been greater.

Shreyas Gopal may have made his debut as a batting all-rounder four years ago, but he now finds himself one of Karnataka's most significant bowlers.   -  Special Arrangement

The rain stayed away from Mysuru as Karnataka took absolute control of its opening Ranji Trophy fixture. Shreyas Gopal and K. Gowtham dismantled Assam under gloomy skies at the Gangothri Glades on Saturday, taking seven wickets between them.

The visitor was bowled out for 145, with only Gokul Sharma offering any resistance. The Assamese captain made 55 after he had been bowled off a no-ball on nought; the damage could so easily have been greater.

As the sun came out late in the afternoon, Karnataka's openers flourished. R. Samarth closed in on a 14th first-class half-century with Mayank Agarwal unbeaten on 26 as the host closed on 77 for no loss.

It took Karnataka 45 minutes in the morning to break through after having put Assam in to bat. Pallav Kumar Das fished outside the off-stump and R. Vinay Kumar found the outside edge. Stuart Binny then struck in his first over, having Pritam Debnath edge to second slip, where Kaunain Abbas took a good, low catch. Abbas was called into action again when Vinay snared Sibsankar Roy.

Shreyas Gopal's intervention was decisive. The leg-spinner struck shortly before lunch, removing Rishav Das for a stubborn 26. The batsman had pushed forward to a leg-break, only to edge to first slip.

Shreyas appeared to have struck again next ball when Gokul was castled off a googly, but the bowler had overstepped.

Assam's woes would not end at lunch. Fifteen minutes after the interval, Shreyas removed Tarjinder Singh and Wasiqur Rahman off successive deliveries, both batsmen failing against balls that slid in.

Shreyas may have made his debut as a batting all-rounder four years ago, but he now finds himself as one of Karnataka's most significant bowlers. He returned figures of three for 43, taking his tally of wickets in first-class cricket to 132.

K. Gowtham then wiped the tail out to finish with four for 20. "It is not the sort of pitch where you can run through the other side," he said. "You need to be patient; you need to set the batsmen up. There was a little bit of turn when I bowled slow, but otherwise, it was a good batting wicket."

Karnataka will hope to make full use on day two.

Brief scores:

Assam: 145 in 59.1 overs (Gokul 55, Rishav 26 ; Gowtham 4/20, Shreyas 3/43) vs Karnataka: 77 in 30 overs (Samarth 47, Agarwal 26; Arup 0/15, Pallav Kumar 0/8).

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