Karnataka remained on top of Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy quarter final by taking acommanding 222-run lead over the 41-time champions on day two of the five-day game at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha on Friday. Half-centuries by opener Mayank Agarwal, M Kaunainm Abbas, CM Gautam and Shreyas Gopal helped Karnataka to the dominating position as they closed out the day at 395 for 6 in 122 overs with Shreyas Gopal unbeaten on 80 off 151 balls along with skipper R Vinay Kumar (31 not out).
Karnataka had on Thursday bundled out Mumbai for a partly 173 and finished the opening day at 115 for 1. Agarwal, who is the top run getter this Ranji season, made 78 off 104 balls, striking 11 fours and a six while one down Abbas (50), Gautam (79) and Shreyas played their roles to perfection. Debutant right arm medium pacers Shivam Malhotra, who grabbed the wicket of Agarwal this morning, and Shivam Dube (5 for 79) were the wicket takers for Mumbai.
In fact, the two first-timers took four wickets in good time to leave Karnataka at 218 for five and the game in balance before the batting side recovered through two big partnerships for the sixth and seventh wickets, with Shreyas Gopal involved in both of them.
Shreyas, unbeaten after facing 151 balls and hitting seven fours, put on 103 runs with 'keeper Gautam to steady the innings. Later, he added 74 runs with skipper Vinay Kumar, who took six wickets on Thursday including a hat-trick, for the unfinished seventh wicket to put his team on top and for Karnataka to press on further on Saturday.
For Mumbai, Dube caught the eye in his first Ranji game and his victims included opener R Samarth (40), Abbas, Karun Nair, Pavan Desphande and Gautam. Senior pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, youngster Akash Parkar and left-arm spinner Karsh Kothari were unsuccessful.
Vidarbha Fight Back
Vidarbha came back with two wickets after being bowled out for 246 on the second day of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal match against Kerala. Overnight 45 for three, Vidarbha lost wickets at almost regular intervals, and wicketkeeper Akshay Wadkar top-scored with 53 off 147 balls. He struck seven boundaries during his stay in the middle. Aditya Sarwate (36) and Karn Sharma (31) hung in there for a while, while Akshay Wakhare and Lalit Yadav chipped in with 27 and 24 runs, respectively.
Left-arm spinner KC Akshay did bulk of the damage for Kerala with impressive figures of 5/66, and he was ably supported by Jalaj Saxena (3/52), at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium. In reply, Kerala lost Mohammed Azharuddeen (8) early, to Lalit Yadav, while S Sandeep Warrier was bowled by medium pacer Rajneesh Gurbani before he could open his account. At stumps on the second day, Kerala were 32 for two, with Saxena (13) and P R Prem (5) batting. Kerala trailed Vidarbha by 214 runs with eight wickets remaining in the first innings.
With PTI Inputs.