Ranji Trophy: Karnataka eyes an outright win against Vidarbha

S. Arvind and Shreyas Gopal had smashed through Vidarbha's resistance, helping their side secure a 91-run first-innings lead.Then, Manish Pandey made a quick, entertaining 35, and R. Samarth a composed 45, as Karnataka reached 108 for three at the close of play on the second day of this Group B Ranji Trophy fixture.

Shreyas Gopal took three wickets for Karnataka.   -  K.Bhagya Prakash

Karnataka will be pleased with Sunday's work. After S. Arvind and Shreyas Gopal had smashed through Vidarbha's resistance, helping their side secure a 91-run first-innings lead, the batsmen got down to work. Manish Pandey made a quick, entertaining 35, and R. Samarth a composed 45, as Karnataka reached 108 for three at the close of play on the second day of this Group B Ranji Trophy fixture.

That the score rattled along at four and a half an over was due in no small part to Pandey's onslaught on Lalit Yadav. The batsman was unfortunate to be dismissed late in the evening, when the ball brushed his pads and rolled back onto the stumps.

>Scorecard

In the morning, it took Karnataka the better part of an hour to split Vidarbha's opening pair. It was Stuart Binny, bowling first-change, who struck, knocking back Sanjay Ramaswamy's off-stump. Soon after, Arvind carved Vidarbha wide open, claiming three wickets in 11 balls during a splendid spell of 4-3-5-3. Aditya Shanware was trapped in front, before Ganesh Satish and captain Faiz Fazal were caught at second slip by Manish Pandey. Fazal had played a few compact drives during his innings of 31, and it took a special forward-diving effort from Pandey to remove him.

Vidarbha appeared to have slid deeper into the mire when, minutes later, Jitesh Sharma edged behind. But Vinay Kumar had overstepped and the batsman, then on four, would score 57 more runs. As Sharma and Ravi Jangid settled down, even smashing Shreyas Gopal and Abrar Kazi for two long sixes, Karnataka toiled hard in the field.

Shreyas finally broke through, almost an hour after lunch. Jangid attempted an unwise sweep shot and C.M. Gautam gratefully gobbled up the top-edge, bringing the curtains down on a 94-run stand for the fifth wicket. Then it all went downhill for Vidarbha . Shreyas snared Aditya Sarwate, and Vinay Kumar ran Shrikant Wagh out in his follow through. Sharma, having completed his second first-class fifty, sought to slog-sweep Shreyas, only to offer the leg-spinner a simple return catch. Vinay then applied the finishing touches, as the last six wickets fell for 25 runs. There was some joy for Vidarbha when play resumed, but it will hurt that Ganesh Satish dropped Samarth when he hadn't scored a single run.