Ranji Trophy: Karnataka seamers blow Railways away

Ronit More's 5 for 45 helped the host side scythe through Railways batting line-up on day two of the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A clash.

Karnataka pace trio of Ronit More, Abhimanyu Mithun and Prasidh Krishna made the most of seamer friendly conditions.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Ronit More led the way as Karnataka's pace pack blew Railways away on the second day of their Ranji Trophy Elite Group A clash.

More took five for 45, and while he stood out for his purpose and intensity, Abhimanyu Mithun and Prasidh Krishna were no less effective. The trio made the most of favourable conditions in the morning, sending back six batsmen before lunch, as Railways was eventually dismissed for 143. It handed Karnataka a lead of 71 runs.

As it happened: Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Round 7, Day 2 Highlights

The host then began its second innings on a strong note, reaching 41 without loss at stumps at the KSCA Navule Stadium here on Sunday. R. Samarth did not open the innings, having hurt his finger in the field earlier, but he was cleared of serious injury and is expected to bat lower down the order if needed.

In the morning, it took Railways all of 14 minutes to claim the one remaining wicket, with only six runs added to the overnight score. But it quickly became apparent that Karnataka's first-innings total of 214 was going to be more than competitive.

Top-order comes undone

Four Railways batsmen were packed off in just over an hour as the home side's medium-pacers emerged full of zest. Mithun had Saurabh Wakaskar caught behind driving before Nitin Bhille was trapped leg-before by a Prasidh delivery that darted in.

Prasidh was generating uncomfortable pace and zip off the pitch and he soon drew an edge from Pratham Singh. Captain Arindam Ghosh was rather lazy in shouldering arms to a rising delivery from More; the ball kissed the bat face and travelled straight to first slip.

Opener Prashant Gupta looked confident during his 35 until he poked at one ball from Mithun, offering Samarth a low catch at first slip. That effort left the fielder with a broken nail and a deep cut, and he walked off the field at once. When More uprooted Sahim Hasan's leg-stump, Railways was in complete disarray, having lost six for 55.

Frustrating stand

After lunch, though, Karnataka's seamers did not find it as easy. It was hot outside, the pitch had settled down, and they could bowl only in short bursts. With Manish Rao dropping anchor at one end, Railways soldiered on, losing only two wickets for the addition of 63 runs in the second session.

More finally broke a frustrating ninth-wicket stand after tea, hitting the top of Amit Mishra's off-stump. The 26-year-old from Belagavi completed his five-wicket haul — his second this season — when Karan Thakur was caught spectacularly by J. Suchith (substitute), backpedalling from mid-on.

Railways had added 62 runs for the last three wickets but there was no questioning which the happier side was at the close of play.

At Shivamogga: Karnataka 214 in 91.4 overs (D. Nischal 52, K.V. Siddharth 69) & 41 for no loss in 14 overs v Railways 143 in 60.2 overs (Manish Rao 52, Ronit More five for 45).