Ranji Trophy: K.L. Rahul (92) entertains, but Delhi holds Karnataka

Karnataka, after terminating Delhi’s innings at 301, finished on 235 for three in its second essay, before play was called off at the start of mandatory overs.

K.L Rahul (in action) played a chanceless innings studded with nine fours and two sixes.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

 

The Ranji Trophy Group A tie between Karnataka and Delhi petered out to an expected draw at the Alur ground here on Sunday. But it was not before the host snuffed out Delhi’s first-innings rebellion, largely owing to A. Mithun’s splendid bowling and R. Samarth’s excellent fielding, just one hour into the final day’s play to secure the first innings lead.

Karnataka, after terminating Delhi’s innings at 301, finished on 235 for three in its second essay, before play was called off at the start of mandatory overs. The three points took Karnataka to 23 in four games, assuring it a place in the knockouts. Delhi remains second in the table with 16 points.

Scorecard

Skipper R.Vinay Kumar did not enforce the follow-on apparently because there was no need to risk the bowlers on a largely unresponsive strip.

However, the state of the pitch didn’t affect Mithun’s performance as he ripped Delhi apart with a six-over spell (6-3-14-4) and allowed it to add only 24 runs to its overnight total.

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It took all of three balls for Mithun to strike as Milind Kumar was caught by a diving Samarth at gully. Samarth was at it again, superbly running out the next batsman Manan Sharma from forward short-leg for a first-ball duck. When he caught centurion Gautam Gambhir at gully two overs later, Mithun being the bowler again, the wheels had come off for Delhi.

K.L. Rahul dropping Navdeep Saini at first slip was perhaps the only jarring note in an otherwise glitch-free morning. But he more than made amends later with an entertaining 92-run knock (109b) studded with nine fours and two sixes.

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It was a chanceless innings and with just days to go for India’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Kolkata, it did augur well for the right-hander. But he will surely rue the way he was dismissed. He fell to a direct hit from Nitish Rana from backward point while lumbering down the pitch for what should have been a straightforward single.

Manish Pandey and Karun Nair then combined for 61 largely tepid runs for the fourth wicket. The holiday crowd, after being treated to some fine stroke-making from Rahul, wanted more. But Karnataka had a job to do and it did well.

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