K.V. Siddharth’s maiden first-class century (104 not out, 184b, 13x4, 2x6) in only his second game helped Karnataka end on a strong 263 for four at stumps on day one of its Elite Group-A Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai at the KSCA Stadium on Tuesday.
The honours were in fact even at Tea with Karnataka at 175 for four. But a wicket-less final session, during which Siddharth and Shreyas Gopal (47 not out, 87b, 8x4) combined for 88 runs, sent the host into ascendancy.
For Mumbai, all-rounder Shivam Dubey was the top performer claiming all four wickets to fall (20-10-32-4).
Batting at No.4, Siddharth was measured in his approach, treating the pacemen with caution and scoring heavily against left-arm spinners Karsh Kothari and Shams Mulani.
Both his sixes came off Mulani, the first over long on to bring up his fifty and the second over mid-wicket to get to within four runs of his century. A sweep for three runs and nudge for a single brought up his hundred.
“I just wanted to play long and for 90 overs,” said Siddharth after the day's play.
"I waited for balls that were in my area of strength. The low scores [against Vidarbha] didn’t affect me. I knew I was batting really well. So I backed myself.”
Earlier, Karnataka, which chose to bat, made three changes. Mir Kaunain Abbas and Shishir Bhavane came in for R. Samarth and Karun Nair, while Ronit More, the local lad, took the place of Vinay Kumar, who after having recovered from a neck injury, hurt his back.
This led to Shreyas leading the side for the first time in Ranji Trophy.
Dhawal Kulkarni bowled a fine opening spell, repeatedly getting the ball to shape away. It was however Dubey, the first-change bowler, who broke through, having Bhavane caught at gully off his third ball.
Dubey stifled the home batsmen, by not conceding a single run in his first five overs.
At the other end fellow paceman Badre Alam forced No. 3 batsman Abbas to edge one behind but wicket-keeper Aditya Tare dropped a sitter.
By the time Nischal fell leg-before to Dubey, trying to guide a full delivery down the leg side, he and Abbas, who scored his sixth first-class fifty (64, 154b, 10x4), had played out more than 20 overs and taken the sting out of the Mumbai attack.
Dubey did bring the visitors back by removing both Abbas and Stuart Binny leading up to Tea, but got little support from others.
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