New Delhi: Stuart Binny celebrated his maiden call-up into the Indian team with a scintillating 88 as table toppers Karnataka asserted their supremacy with a solid performance reaching 226 for five at stumps on the second day of their final Ranji Trophy encounter against hosts Delhi who are almost out of the race for a quarter-final spot.
Karnataka now have a lead of 24 runs and have ensured three points from the game. (Looking to make use of the opportunity: Binny)
After the match started an hour and half late due to bad light, Karnataka opener Karun Nair batted well for his patient unbeaten knock of 92 while Binny attacked the spinners hitting some effortless sixes off the spinners to score 88 off 94 balls.
The Binny-Nair duo added 127 runs in quick time especially after Karnataka were reduced to 73 for four with Mayank Agarwal (2), R Samarth (13), Manish Pandey (8) and Abrar Kazi (11) all back in the hut.
It was Binny who brought some life into the match as he hit Varun Sood for three sixes - two over long on and another over long off.
Another six came off Manoj Chauhan who rarely got his length right. In all, he batted for 94 balls hitting four fours.
While Nair was content in taking singles and hitting the odd boundaries in between, Binny was in his free flowing self. During tea-break, he got the news of his selection and post break completed his 50. As if to celebrate the selection, he hit Manan Sharma over extra cover for a fifth six as they completed their century partnership in the 62nd over.
With Delhi bowlers getting very little assistance from the track, Karnataka batsmen had little difficulty in negotiating the bowling. Initially, umpires didn't allow the pacers to bowl with new ball which meant spinners operated at the beginning. This also released a bit of pressure.
The talk about having a rank turner turned out to be false as hardly couple of deliveries turned and most of them kept low. Left-arm spinner Sood got Kazi and Pandey with two such deliveries that kept low.
However, once Binny came into the picture, he changed the course of the game with his hard hitting. Within no time, he reached 40's and suddenly the pressure was back on Delhi. There were lofted shots, drives on the up as well as couple of late cuts off Manan, who was also hit for couple of big sixes.
At one point of time, Binny overtook Nair when they were in 60's. Nair reached 80's when he hooked Nehra for a six and then swept Manoj to overtake Delhi's first innings score of 202.
Brief scores: Delhi 202; Karnataka 226/5 (Karun Nair 92, Stuart Binny 88).