Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Jangra, Mavi late strikes put Uttar Pradesh on top

Karnataka was cruising at 127 for two, before the set batsman Devdutt Padikkal and skipper Karun Nair fell as Karnataka finished the day on 168 for four.

Karnataka batsman R. Samarth is bowled by Mohit Jangra at Hubballi on Dec 18.   -  Kiran Bakale

A couple of late strikes allowed Uttar Pradesh back into the contest on the second day of its Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka, at the KSCA Stadium here on Wednesday.

Karnataka was cruising at 127 for two, before the set batsman Devdutt Padikkal (74, 108b) and skipper Karun Nair (13) fell to loose shots. Karnataka finished the day on 168 for four, 113 runs behind Uttar Pradesh’s first-innings total.

Padikkal looked on course to record his maiden First-Class ton, but a thick inside edge off left-arm pacer Mohit Jangra crashed into the stumps. Karun, struggling for form, threw his wicket away late in the day. He walked straight into a fairly obvious trap set by Shubham Mavi, pulling a short ball to Madhav Kaushik at deep fine-leg.

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Abhishek Reddy (23 batting) and Shreyas Gopal (8 batting) saw out the danger until the close of play. Opener D. Nischal was compact until left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar broke his resistance. R. Samarth’s poor form continued, playing well away from the body to hand debutant Jangra his first wicket.

Earlier, Karnataka fast bowler A. Mithun (six for 60) packed a punch to bundle Uttar Pradesh out for 281 from the overnight score of 232 for five. The highlight of his spell came when he flattened Mohammad Saif’s off-stump. Saif, who was comfortably placed on 80, shouldered arms to a ball which tailed in sharply.

Peak form

Mithun’s great season only keeps getting better. The 30-year-old finished the Vijay Hazare Trophy as the team’s most successful bowler (20 wickets), and took five wickets in one over in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy semifinal against Haryana. He missed the final and the Ranji Trophy opener due to a back spasm, but is now back to peak form.

Mithun is enjoying the responsibility of being the senior bowler for the State, after the departure of long-time partner Vinay Kumar to Puducherry. “I’ve trained a lot in the off-season, and the results have come. Being a senior bowler, I knew I had to give my best on the field. All the youngsters look (up) to me. If I give my 100 per cent, they will also give their best. The added responsibility has helped me,” Mithun said.

Uttar Pradesh fast bowler and skipper Ankit Rajpoot, meanwhile, suffered a hamstring injury and could bowl only six overs.

GROUP B

Hubballi:

Uttar Pradesh 281 in 111.2 overs (Aryan Juyal 109, Mohammad Saif 80, Abhimanyu Mithun 6/60) vs Karnataka 168/4 in 59 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 74).

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